While home insurance gives you peace of mind in case of an emergency, filing a claim requires quite a lot of specific information. Organizing your information and preparing for the process ahead of time simplifies the claim process and reduces stress after a natural disaster or break-in. Prepare yourself for the claims process by finding the right professionals and making records of your home's condition and contents.
Understand Your Coverage
Start by going over your home insurance policy so you understand exactly what's covered and what's excluded. Filing a claim for damage that isn't covered can still raise your premiums, so you'll want to only file claims that your insurer is likely to approve.
Develop a Home Inventory
Create a home inventory in order to ensure the insurance company pays for every belonging that is destroyed by a fire or goes missing due to theft. Photos, receipts, and other information about the value and purchase date of your belongings is easy to organize with a home inventory app. Don't forget to include some photos of your home's condition and layout so you can easily establish the impact of a fire or natural disaster damage.
Check for Public Adjuster Services
Your insurance company might offer free visits from the adjusters they employ. However, you can also hire a public adjuster to evaluate your home for a fee. A public adjuster usually handles all the work of filing a claim and pursuing its fulfillment, which is often worth the extra cost when you're dealing with major damage or a total loss of your home.
Find a public adjuster that is recommended by your insurance company or lawyer before anything happens since the adjusters who reach out to contact you after a natural disaster may not offer the same quality of services.
Build a Relationship with a Reliable Contractor
Trying to find a trustworthy contractor when you're already dealing with the work of filing an insurance claim can feel overwhelming. Find a local contractor before anything happens and hire them to handle smaller maintenance and repair tasks first. Once you've built a good rapport with a company, you'll immediately know who to call for a fair estimate and fast response when your home insurance provider approves your claim.
With these preparations in place, filing an insurance claim takes a lot less work. Don't wait until there's an emergency to think about your home insurance policy.