Filing a home insurance claim can seem like a daunting process. Dealing with damage to your home puts a lot of pressure and stress on you, the least of which is grappling with the insurance claim itself. That’s why we’ve put together our pro tips for handling a home insurance claim. Hopefully, these tips will help the claims process go as smoothly as possible.
1. First things first – be safe.
If you come home and discover a loss or damage, be extremely careful in entering your home. It might not be safe. Exercise your judgment, and if you need to, contact the appropriate emergency personnel to figure out how to proceed.
Report any downed power lines to the utility company, and keep your electricity turned off if there’s standing water in your home.
If it’s really not safe, get out. Don’t take any chances.
2. Contact your insurance company.
Fire is covered by home insurance, as are lightning strikes. Home insurance will also cover storm damage, such as trees falling on your home or a damaged roof. Your insurance company will want the who, what, where, when, and how of the situation. They can guide you as far how to move forward with the claim. They’ll connect you with a claims handler, which leads us to our third pro tip.
3. Note the claim handler’s information.
Make sure that you take some notes when you talk to your insurance company. Take down the name and phone number of the claims handler so that you can get in touch with them easily.
4. Keep detailed records.
You’re going to have to become the ultimate note-taker. Keep a record of any contact that you have with the insurance company. Note the date, the time, the person that you spoke with, and the details of the conversation. Keep all of this information organized and in one place so that you can reference conversations from any point in the process.
5. If it’s safe, protect your home from further damage.
Take steps to protect your home from additional damage if it’s safe to do so. That might include things like boarding up windows and using tarps to prevent damage from the weather. This is important because your policy might require you to protect your home from damage after an incident. But don’t put yourself at risk – don’t even enter the home if it’s not safe to do so.
6. Prepare a list of items that have been lost.
You’re going to need to be able to present your insurance company with a list of items that need to be replaced. This is why taking a home inventory is so important – that way you know exactly what was in your home in the first place and the value of your belongings.
If you have any accessible receipts of major purchases, dig them out and have them ready to present to your insurance company.
7. Don’t move damaged items out of your home.
The claims adjuster will want to see the scene as it is. You can even take pictures or videos of the damage to keep in your personal file – you never know when those could come in handy.
8. Save any receipts for additional living expenses.
If you have to move out of your home temporarily, keep any receipts from your accommodations or other living expenses. Your insurance might cover these expenses, too, so this will make it easier to get reimbursed.
9. Do the paperwork.
The claims adjuster will send over some paperwork and documents that you have to complete. Do the paperwork and return it promptly – don’t delay.
10. Let your mortgage lender know about the loss.
You should let your lender know what happened. They might want to talk to you about contractor bids for reconstruction, and they might have their own protocol for rebuilding or repairing the home and inspecting the work.
We hope that you never have to face a loss to your home. It’s not fun to think about the worst-case-scenario, but that’s what insurance is for. Our goal is to help you build an insurance plan that will help you protect your home and your family. We understand that insurance can be complicated, so we want to make the insurance process – from getting a policy to filing a claim – as easy on you as possible. Contact us at Atlanta Insurance if you’d like to get a free quote on your home insurance, auto insurance, or renters insurance – all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call!