No one wants to imagine a disaster hitting their home. And while we don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, we can prepare for such disasters and have actionable items to keep you organized should you need to file an insurance claim on your home.
Damage to your home can not only be costly, but traumatic and even disrupt your life. Here are five tips to make the insurance claim process go as smoothly as possible.
1. Call your insurance agent as soon as possible
As soon as you know everyone in your home is safe, make sure you call your agent or insurance company to begin the claims process. Always call your agent before you have any repair work started on your home.
- Don’t sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form from your contractor
The threat of disreputable contractors should make you weary of signing a form called Assignment of Benefits. This allows contractors to have full control over the claims process, including all payments from your insurance carrier. Unfortunately, this has led to some contractors collecting the insurance payment without completing work. Finding contractors to repair damage to your home can be a daunting task. Ask your insurance carrier for recommendations, as they often have agreements in place with contractors.
- Keep receipts
If you have to spend a night in a hotel due to your damaged home, keep your receipt. Any purchases made to stop the spread of a disaster (like a roof leak) should also be documented and turned over to your insurance carrier as part of your claim.
- Take photos
Only if it’s safe to do so, take photos of the damage to your home from as many angles as you can. Obviously, if it is not safe to be inside your home because of the damage, don’t worry about taking pictures. But if you’re able to take photos safely, you can share these with your insurance carrier.
- Create an inventory of items in your home
It’s always a good idea to have an inventory of significant items in your home in case you need to file an insurance claim. Take the time to list important and costly items in each room of your home, including your garage. Taking photos is also a great way to catalog the items in your home that could sustain damage should a disaster strike. An itemized list of your belonging and their value could save you a lot of guesswork when trying to provide a list of damaged items to your insurance carrier.
It’s important to know that not all home damage will require an insurance claim. For instance, losses that cost less than your deductive, or damage that falls outside the scope of your insurance policy such as flooding or earthquakes.
As independent insurance agents, we thrive on providing exceptional service to our customers. We’re here for you to help Protect Your Good Life.