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Home Insurance Claims Explained

A home insurance claim can be a daunting ordeal to face, particularly for those unfamiliar with the details of their individual homeowner’s policy. Most people have valid questions as to coverage, deductibles, and what to expect of the process. Despite these valid concerns, homeowners should not be afraid to submit claims when necessary. In fact, by simply following some advice, even the overwhelmed homeowner can confidently proceed to claim home insurance.

When to File a Claim

Many homeowners are clueless as to what is considered “claimable” in their insurance policy. By reading over the policy and asking questions directly to the provider, this problem is easily resolved. Typically, home insurance claims account for theft, fire, or tornado damage. Additionally, repairs costing over one thousand dollars and serious injuries that occur on a homeowner’s property are generally covered by a policy as well. In any event, all of these instances should be promptly reported to the insurance company, even if a claim is not filed.

When Not to File a Claim

Home insurance is designed to cover potentially financially crippling disasters. In light of this, any claim which may be addressed by spending less than one thousand dollars is likely not worth filing. The primary reason for this guideline is that often, home insurance providers penalize customers for filing petty claims. For example, in the case of a disaster such as the loss of a home to fire, a homeowner that has filed previous petty claims may be required to fight to win the insurance claim. In addition, home insurance policies do not cover claims resulting from neglect, such as termite damage, rot, and insect infestations.

How to File a Claim

In order to claim home insurance, common sense is often key. In case of fire, theft, or vandalism, contact the authorities first to get the proper assistance and reports. For instances of theft, create an inventory list of all stolen and damaged items. Provide copies for the police and your insurance company. To claim home insurance for bodily injury, obtain medical treatment promptly and keep all medical documentation including prescription receipts for reimbursement. In all cases, consider utilizing the additional proof offered by simply taking photographs of damage. Follow these steps and complete all of the necessary paperwork required by your individual insurance company.

What Happens Next?

Depending on the severity of the claim, an adjuster may come to your home to assess the damage. Often, however, in cases of major damage, an adjuster will document the damage and discuss obtaining estimates on repair costs. These types of claims may take quite a time depending on the exact circumstances of the claim. Regardless of the type of claim, a claims adjuster will usually be assigned who will provide you with a general guide to the claims process. Regular contact should be initiated with the claims adjuster to ensure that your case is not forgotten.

The process involved in claiming home insurance can be initially daunting, but should never prevent a homeowner from filing a legitimate claim. Armed with the necessary information to make educated decisions throughout the process, even those with no experience in filing insurance claims can claim home insurance with confidence.

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