So, it really stinks, but you’re finding yourself in the position of having to file a home insurance claim. You want to pull your hair out – this is NOT going to be fun. Okay, well, perhaps it won’t be fun, but it is manageable. Here are a few tips for handling a home insurance claim.
1. Be very careful if you’re returning to your home and find that something has happened. Stay safe.
2. Note any downed power lines and report them to the utility company. (Keep the power off if there’s standing water around the home.)
3. Get in touch with your home insurance company. Take notes and write down the name of the person you spoke with, their name, title, phone number, and what you discussed.
4. If it’s safe to do so, protect your house from further damage. (For example, you might board up windows.) Ask your claims person if you have questions about what you should do.
5. Create a list of belongings that were damaged. Try to leave your belongings in the home until a claims person has come out to inspect.
6. If you can, take photos or video of the damage.
7. If you can access receipts to some of your belongings, get those ready.
8. Should you need to live elsewhere because your home is uninhabitable, save all receipts for extra expenses you accrue because of the temporary relocation. If your house is uninhabitable due to a covered loss, your home insurance may reimburse you for expenses that go above and beyond your normal costs of living.
9. Your claims person will probably have some forms for you. Fill out all the forms and return them promptly. PAY ATTENTION TO RELEVANT DEADLINES.
10. Let your mortgage lender know what happened. They might want to talk about getting the repairs done and getting a contractor.
So, yes, home insurance claims might not be a lot of fun. But we believe in you. You can do it! The most important thing is that you and your family are okay.
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