If you’re a homeowner, it’s important to know how to file a homeowner’s claim in the event of damage to your home. Filing a claim can be tricky, but with the right information, it can be a breeze.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of filing a homeowner’s claim and highlight some of the most important things to keep in mind. So read on for all the information you need to know about filing a homeowner’s claim.
What is a Homeowner’s Claim?
A homeowner’s claim is a request for reimbursement from your insurance company for damages to your home. This can include damage from natural disasters, accidents, or even theft.
When you file a claim, your insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine how much they will reimburse you.
It’s important to remember that your insurance policy has limits on how much they will pay for damages. So if the damage to your home is significant, you may have to pay for some of the repairs yourself.
Steps to Filing a Homeowner’s Claim
There are a few steps you need to take in order to file a homeowner’s claim.
1) Assess the Damage
The first step is to assess the damage to your home. This means taking pictures or videos of the damage, making a list of damaged items, and estimating the cost of repairs. The more documentation you have, the easier it will be to file your claim.
When you assess the damage, be sure to look for any hidden damage. This can include water damage, structural damage, or electrical damage. It’s important to identify all the damage before you start repairs, as this can affect how much your insurance company will reimburse you.
2) File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Once you have all the documentation you need, it’s time to file your claim with your insurance company. You can do this over the phone or online.
The first report is just the collection of info about what happened and does not obligate the insurance company to pay out anything.
If your home is unlivable, talk to your adjuster about the loss of use coverage in your policy. This can reimburse you for the cost of hotel stays, meals, and other expenses while your home is being repaired.
3) Schedule an Adjuster to Visit Your Home
Once you’ve filed your claim, an adjuster will be assigned to your case. The adjuster will come to your home and assess the damage. They will also ask you questions about the incident and take pictures or videos of the damage.
It’s important, to be honest with the adjuster and provide all the information they need. Otherwise, your claim could be denied. The adjuster will then give you a list of damages and an estimate of the cost of repairs.
4) Get Estimates for repairs
You can use any contractor you want, but they have to be within reasonable cost rates for repairs in your area. If you’re not sure where to find a contractor, your insurance company may have a list of preferred providers.
Once you’ve chosen a contractor, get an estimate for the repairs. The estimate should include the cost of labor and materials. It’s important to get multiple estimates so you can compare prices. The adjuster will also likely get their own estimate for the repairs. You can use this estimate to negotiate with your insurance company if you feel the amount they’re offering is too low.
5) Review the claim with your adjuster regarding coverage and payments
Once you have your estimates, it’s time to review the claim with your adjuster. They will go over the estimate and let you know how much of the repairs will be covered by your insurance policy.
If you’re not happy with the amount your insurance company is willing to pay, you can negotiate with them. It’s important to remember that your adjuster is not trying to lowball you, but rather is working within the confines of your policy.
If you’re still not happy with the outcome, you can always file an appeal. It’s important to have all of your documentation in order before you do so.
6) Mortgage companies may need to sign off on checks
If you have a mortgage, your mortgage company will need to sign off on any insurance checks that are issued for repairs. This is to ensure that the repairs are made and that the money is not used for something else.
Once you have the signed check, you can begin making repairs. Be sure to keep all receipts and documentation of the repairs. This will be important if you ever need to file another claim. The more documentation you have, the easier it will be to get your claims paid.
7) Recoverable depreciation
The final thing to be aware of is recoverable depreciation. This is the portion of your claim that is not paid for by your insurance company. Rather, it is an amount that you will need to pay yourself.
Recoverable depreciation can be used to make repairs or replacement of damaged items. It can also be used for things like pool repairs or a new roof.
The amount of recoverable depreciation will be determined by your insurance company and is based on the value of the item at the time it was damaged.
To get an idea of what your recoverable depreciation may be, you can ask your insurance agent for an estimate.
Keep in mind that you will need to pay for recovering depreciation out of your own pocket. Be sure to factor this into your budget when making repairs after a covered event.
8) Fix your house and send documentation to your insurance company
Once you’ve made all the repairs, you’ll need to send documentation to your insurance company. This includes receipts, invoices, and any other documentation that shows the cost of the repairs. The insurance company will then issue a check for the remaining balance of your claim. The recoverable depreciation check will be sent directly to you.
Filing a homeowners insurance claim can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these steps, you can ensure that your claim is filed correctly and that you get the coverage you need to make repairs.
Remember, your homeowner’s insurance policy is there to protect you in the event of a covered loss. It’s important to understand what is and is not covered by your policy so that you can be prepared in the event of a claim.
If you have any questions about your coverage, be sure to ask your agent. They can help you understand your policy and what it covers. And if you ever need to file a claim, they can walk you through the process and help ensure that everything is done correctly.