Homeowners insurance helps you recover some of the losses you suffer, especially if these losses occur due to extreme weather events. If you have never filed a claim before, you might wonder how to begin the process to secure your compensation. Here is an overview of the claims process for your compensation if you have homeowners insurance.
Contact Your Agent
After your house suffers damage, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. Early contact will ensure that the agent processes your claim properly. Also, you can receive the maximum amount of compensation for the damage.
Provide your agent with all the necessary information about the incident, such as the date and time of the loss, your policy number, and your address. Your agent can process your claim quickly and provide you with the best outcome if they have this information readily available.
Additionally, follow up the call with a letter that details the problem. The letter can serve as a record and help you stay organized with all the information you need if disputes or misunderstandings arise in the claims process.
Assess and Record the Damage
Before you enter the building, check for structural damage. Do not enter if you think that the building might collapse. If you confirm you can enter the house, use a flashlight to investigate the damage.
Create a detailed record of affected assets. Use your smartphone to create video and picture records of the damage. You can also call an engineer or expert technician to estimate the cost of repairs. For example, include the material costs to repair your roof and estimated labor costs associated with the repair service.
Sometimes your house might receive extensive damage that prevents you and your family from staying in it any longer. Include the auxiliary costs you incurred due to the property damage, such as motel bills. Present bills that show the auxiliary costs along with the damage record.
Prevent Further Damage
Use temporary measures to prevent further deterioration if you can save or salvage any components and parts after extensive damage. For example, you can use plastic sheets and tarps to cover your roof and prevent water damage that might affect the interior.
Meet the Adjustor
The insurance company will send an adjustor to verify the records you presented. Work with the adjustor to view the damage caused to your house and review the costs you estimated. If you used a technician in the inspection, you can call them to help you verify the estimations you made.
After the adjustor verifies the estimated repair or replacement costs, they will make an agreement on how the company will settle your claim. The agreement will entail the scope of damage you suffered, which will affect the compensation you receive from your insurance company.
Settle the Claim
The time it takes to resolve the claim will depend on the insurer’s policies. The insurance company will determine the best time to settle and restore your house’s condition. You might file a property and structural claim combined or separately. However, separate claims might prolong the compensation period. Also, ensure that you file within at least one year after the incident.
If you find additional damage during the repair process that you did not consider, you can file for more compensation. As long as the damage fits into your insurance policy, the insurer can reimburse you for the extra costs the first claim did not cover.
If you are in the market for a new homeowners insurance company or want to change your current policy provider, consider Family Insurance Centers. We serve Polk County and surrounding central Florida areas. Contact us today for more details.