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Filing Home Insurance Claims

In the unlikely event something should happen to your family or home, you will have to take the necessary actions to file an insurance claim. Although all coverage is different, there are some generally accepted steps to follow:

  • Notify your insurance company or insurance agent of the situation as soon as possible.
  • Make a detailed list of the damages incurred. Take photographs if possible. Keep accurate records of all financial data resulting from the losses including cancelled checks and receipts. If damages are extensive, push to have the insurance adjuster visit your home.
  • Keep detailed records of all insurance and adjuster contacts and conversations. Log names, dates and correspondence results. Strong records help your cause.
  • Resist making permanent repairs before your insurance adjuster visits your home. If you need temporary repairs to protect from looting or to ensure personal safety, note this maintenance in your claim.
  • If possible, be present during the insurance adjuster's inspection and take notes on the discussion. You might want your own contractor/builder present to represent your interests.
  • Review the coverage in your policy. You may not know everything that is covered. If you cannot locate your policy, request a copy from your insurance company.
  • Read the final claim settlement carefully. Agree only when you are completely satisfied in the decision. If you'd like to obtain independent estimates, do not hesitate to do so. Public adjusters often offer assistance to victims of major claim events. But before you use their services, keep in mind that they do charge for their services and that not all providers are legitimate.
  • Get more than one bid for construction or repair work. Try to use a local contractor with a good reputation. Large claims events like storms often attract fly-by-night operators who do poor work or skip town after receiving advance payments.

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