Home insurance claims can be emotional depending on the damage. Understanding your home insurance policy and how to file a claim will help you know what to do next. However, many homeowners have questions about what’s involved with the home insurance claims? And how to start? Read on to find answers.
What Does Home Insurance Claim Cover?
Home insurance policies do not always have the same coverage. Therefore, it’s crucial to read your policy to determine what is covered and the coverage level. A typical homeowners insurance policy will protect your personal property and your home and helps cover the costs of losses. Here are some of the coverage your home insurance claim covers.
· Coverage for the home structure
Home insurance claims cover payments to repair your home if it is destroyed by lightning, hurricane, fire, hail, or other disasters covered in your policy. A standard home insurance policy will not pay for damage caused by wear and tear, earthquake, or flood.
· Coverage for personal belongings
Home insurance claims can cover your clothes, sports equipment, furniture, and other personal items if they are stolen or damaged by a hurricane, fire, or other disasters. Expensive items like furs, jewelry, art, silverware, and collectibles are also covered. Still, there are limits if they are stolen.
· Liability protection
Liability covers you and your family against lawsuits for property damage or bodily injury. It also covers the expenses for damage or injury caused by your family. So, if your son or daughter accidentally destroys a neighbor’s property, you are covered. The liability protection can pay for the cost of defending you in court and the outcomes—up to the coverage limit stated in your policy.
· Additional living expenses (ALE)
This home insurance claims overs the cost of staying elsewhere if your home is unlivable. ALE covers things such as restaurant meals, hotel bills, and other expenses. Remember that the ALE coverage has a limit. However, these limits are different from the amount available to repair your home.
How To File A Home Insurance Claim
You need to contact your insurer to help you file a claim for any damage or loss that occurs on your property. The following tips will help make the claim process go smoothly.
· Call the police if necessary
Call the police if you’ve been the victim of theft or your property damage resulted from criminal activity. Your insurer may want a copy of the police report to confirm what happened.
· Contact your insurer
Experts advise that you file an insurance claim as soon as possible to make the process go smoothly. Your insurer will provide answers to questions about your specific losses and what case to file under your insurance policy.
· Document your losses
You will need to complete the claim forms sent by the insurance company after you call them. You need to fill out these forms immediately to avoid setbacks. You may need to submit the following information:
- Name and date of birth
- Cause of the loss
- Location of the loss
- Insurance Policy number
- Estimated loss amount
- Date of the incident
Many insurance experts also advise submitting video and photographic evidence to support your claim.
· Have your claim inspected
After your claim is submitted, your insurer will send an adjuster to inspect your property and determine if your insurance policy covers the damage. Ensure that the adjuster inspects the property and belongings in your presence before writing an estimate for damages. If anything was missing from their report, it could cause problems when trying to get reimbursed for missing items.
· Stay on top of your claim
Do not let your claim take months. Your insurer should resolve the process on time. Follow up on your claim every week. Be aware of any required forms, deadlines, or other actions. You could jeopardize your claim if you fail to keep up with your obligations.
· Review the settlement
Your insurer will send a settlement offer. You may need to be patient before accepting the settlement because taking a settlement means your claim is closed, and you cannot contest the claim. If you are not satisfied with the offer, hire a public adjuster or contact your insurer and ask if they can review your insurance claim again.
Keep in mind that your claim settlement may take longer than you expect. Therefore, you may need to be patient because your insurance company may give you a low offer. They will want to pay the lowest amount possible while you want the highest amount. You need to consult with a public insurance adjuster if you doubt your ability to maximize your insurance settlement.