Knowing the next steps you must take and not staying stagnant is essential when disaster strikes. Filing a homeowner’s insurance claim will help you rebuild and repair the damage your property encountered. But where do you start, and does your policy cover the damage?
In this quick guide, you will learn how to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, what your insurance will cover, and the steps to take after filing your claim.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Typically, standard homeowners’ insurance covers repair and replacement damages to your home when an unforeseen event occurs. Your insurance policy covers accidents such as theft, vandalism, home fires, smoke, and some weather-related incidents, such as lightning, falling trees, or hail.
Your insurance also covers personal items, heating and cooling systems, sheds, fences, and other structures on your property. However, swimming pools and other recreational items may require additional coverage. You will also receive compensation for your living expenses, food, and lodging while your property undergoes repairs if your home is inhabitable after an incident. You will also receive reimbursement for legal and medical expenses if anyone who doesn’t live in your home was injured in the incident.
Talking with an insurance agent is important and can help you understand how much coverage you have and what to expect from your claim. You will be aware of what you have in the event of an unforeseen event.
What Are Your First Steps?
While protecting your home involves many mechanisms and strategies, it can be devastating when disaster strikes. Having to rebuild or repair your home can invoke many emotions—especially overwhelm. However, equipping yourself with homeowner’s insurance ensures recovery lies ahead. Below are the first steps you should take when filing a claim.
Contact The Police
Contact the police immediately if you believe your home was vandalized. Don’t clean up the mess or destruction of your property before making the police report. The police can use the mess as evidence when you file your insurance claim. Make sure to get the contact information of any police dispatched to your property. Doing so allows you to stay updated about your case and ensures you have someone to contact directly for additional help if needed.
Notify Your Insurance Company
After contacting the police, you must contact your insurance company to report the damage. But how do you file a homeowners insurance claim? Depending on your provider, you can easily file online or via phone with an agent. However, the quicker you file, the faster you can resolve your problem and the more detailed you can be on your report.
Similar to filing an auto insurance claim, the more detailed you are in your report, the more likely your home insurance company will help. Providing them with thorough documentation and evidence will also help them move quickly on your case.
Document the Damage
Documenting the scene is one of the most important steps when filing a claim. Taking pictures and videos and asking for witness statements will help your insurer support you. Create a detailed inventory of your damaged items with the estimated worth. Doing so will help your insurance company estimate how much they can compensate you.
Don’t wait until an unfortunate event happens to keep track of your items. Create an inventory of all the items in your home with their worth and copies of receipts (if possible). Therefore, you’ll have all the necessary information you’ll need to file a claim if disaster strikes again, and can move the claim along faster.
Communicate With the Insurance Adjuster
After filing your claim, your insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect your property. The adjuster will be the person you contact throughout the process of your claim. You must advocate for your property and update them on any necessary repairs or replacements. Walk them through your home and show them the many damaged items. The insurance adjuster will likely request the worth of each item at that time, which is why providing detailed documents on your claim is crucial.
You can always hire a separate adjuster to compare amounts and advocate for your insurance company. With that in mind, you must compensate this adjuster with a percentage of the claim you filed.
Make Temporary Repairs
While it’s important to keep things as they are until the adjuster finishes their report, you can temporarily fix some damages. Your home insurance will provide you with lodging and food for inhabitable homes. But if you have a leak, broken window, or hole in your roof, you can stop up the leak, place cardboard over the window, and attach a tarp to the roof. Creating these temporary fixes can prevent further damage from occurring. For example, say you have a large hole in your roof from a tree falling, then it rains. The rain causes water damage and ruins your electronics. Your insurance company can decide not to cover the additional damages because they weren’t in the original claim.
Plan Your Next Steps
After you file your claim, you must wait until the insurance company finalizes it to receive your payment. In the meantime, don’t stay stagnant. Keep contacting your adjuster and insurance company to keep updated on your case. Consider getting a contractor to evaluate the necessary repairs and replacements. Doing so helps you to know how much it will cost to repair your property and rebuy items.
How Can We Help?
Living in California makes you familiar with the yearly natural disasters. Many opportunities for extra protection over your vehicles and property are available. While living through natural disasters, from droughts to wildfires to earthquakes, some cities in California face higher crime rates. The increase in crime can cause an increase in insurance and coverage rates, which can be unaffordable for some.
Don’t worry. Saferoad Insurance Services is here for you. We offer affordable home insurance in Anaheim and the surrounding areas. We also provide auto, business, rental, and recreational vehicle insurance you can bundle. Bundling your insurance policies is a great way to save money, simplify your payments, and maximize your financial coverage. Contact our agents for more information and to receive a free quote.