Homeowners insurance is an essential component of the cost of owning a home. It may seem like an extra expense but is essential for a number of reasons. Lenders usually require that homeowners buy insurance to safeguard their investment. Insurance also helps homeowners rebuild and defray costs in the event of a major catastrophe. Depending on where one lives, there are different insurance policies which offer comprehensive coverage. Since a home is a person’s largest asset, it makes sense to buy insurance and peace of mind.
The damage to a home can be a bit or quite severe, depending on the event. Whether it is a burglary, fire or storm related damage, here are a few things that a home owner should do before filing a claim.
Getting in Touch With Agent : After ensuring the physical safety of people, the next thing to do is to call the insurance company and file a claim. Adjusters usually come over and inspect the damage. They will take their own pictures and also offer some money towards repairs. In case a homeowner is offered a spot settlement, they can take the money/check to make much needed repairs. If the damage is much higher than initially noted, a new claim can be filed - this has to be done in the calendar year of the disaster.
Mortgage Payments : Make sure to keep the lender in the loop about the disaster. Most insurance companies issue checks out to the lender as well. Lenders usually hold insurance money in an account and pay contractors after the repairs are carried out. Check with the bank about the rules and regulations about dealing with a disaster.
Inventorying Household Goods : It is very important to list all the items lost or damaged in the disaster. Go through the house room by room and try to list out items for memory. If replacement coverage is available on personal items, these are replaceable. Making a list of important items is a good idea – quite a few people do it in advance and keep it at the bank for access later.
Processing Paperwork : If the scale of the disaster is a large one, then processing claims usually takes a while as the insurance company has a lot of work. The most serious cases are handled first. Keep in touch the insurance agent and get updates on the process. Insurance companies also offer policy holders money for temporary living expenses. Make sure to keep hotel and food purchase receipts so that this amount is reimbursed.
Keeping Copies : Keep track of all the communication between you and the insurance company about the claim so that issues can be addressed in a timely manner. If damage is caused by water and other reasons, there will be a lot of paperwork to take care of. Copies make it easier for a homeowner to track the status and collect on the insurance.