People holding home insurance policies would like to know about the claim process. In case you have a disaster around the place, or lose things as a result of robbery, you would like to make the claim and get the process settled in quick time. The insurer generally checks out the loss multiple times and goes through the formalities, before finally covering the loss. However, you should have a clear idea about how to proceed in case your home is damaged. This article will provide you with a complete knowledge about what to do in case you want to file a claim.
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The initial payment process may not be final
When a policyholder files a claim, the damage in your property will inspect the damage and settle the claim. The amount of damage will determine the amount of money you will receive for repairs. These days, most of the homeowners buy house insurance policies from reputed companies, so that they need not incur the financial losses in case of damage. The insurance company often carries out an initial check. This is done to provide an advance against the total amount of settlement, and it should be noted that this is not the final payment.
Some companies offer an on-spot settlement for the damage and the policyholders can accept the same right away. In case you come across other damages in future, the claim can be reopened. In this case, you can file a claim for the remaining amount. In most of the property insurance policies, you need to get the claim filed with the insurance company within a year of the disaster.
The claim process: At a glance
- You can contact the insurance company by email, fax, phone or contact the agent, in case you want to file a claim
- The reputed home insurance companies acknowledge the claim in a short time. A surveyor is sent to inspect the site within two working days of filing the claim
- The company may enquire in writing or call about any important queries about processing the claim after your property is inspected
- Accordingly, the claim will be settled at the earliest by the company
What to do during the home insurance claiming process?
According to the contract signed between the insurer and the policyholder, you need to report the damage immediately to claim the money. If the stated time limit expires, the claim may be denied. Even if you evacuate the premises in case of a disaster, it is advisable to get in touch with the insurance company at the earliest. These days, you can file the claim online from your smartphone, through the websites or apps. You should have the contact details of the property insurance company all the time, so that you can reach out to them even after evacuating the house.
The claim process begins once you inform the damage to the insurance company. This is a detailed and extensive process, that calls for a good amount of attention and time. The process involves contacting the insurance company initially, assessment of the damage, negotiations and resolution. Usually, the insurance company needs the following details from the policyholder when they file a claim:
- Name of the policyholder
- Policy details (number)
- Type of damage (Fire, flood, earthquake, vandalism)
- Information about damage caused to your home
Keep your premise and property secure after the damage
If you have a home insurance policy, make sure to keep the premise secure after the disaster, so that no additional damage is caused. On securing the site, you can ensure that no third party suffers an injury. The policyholder shoulders a contractual responsibility of minimize the additional damages after a disaster. Remember, the insurer may not cover the damage that has been caused due to your reluctance to keep the premise secure. For instance, if your house is on fire, do not let your family members of others get inside to recover valuables, even after the fire has been doused off. The person may suffer injuries due to collapse of walls or ceilings.
Don’t commence with the repairs immediately
Unless any approval comes from the home insurance company, you should not start any repairing process. The surveyor needs to examine the extent of damage. It is advisable to keep the property as it is, until the company approves the claim. After the negotiation takes place and you get the agreement documented, you should proceed with the repairs.
One of the common mistakes people tend to make after a damage to their home is that, they throw away things. These may include the damaged items, receipts and personal belongings. These items are important, as you need to prove the damage when you file the claim. Until the damage is documented properly and you get the claim processed, do not throw the items away.
A few other guidelines
While filing the claim, do not assume that you need to use the vendors of the insurance company. You are free to hire experts like public adjusters, contractors and engineers on your own. It is in your interest to hire a professional who can provide an accurate estimate of the losses you have incurred.
Initially, the insurance company will calculate the cash value of the belongings. You need to make a list of all the belongings that have been damaged and submit the same to the house insurance company. You might be having the policy of replacement value. However, the first check is generally based on the cash value and this is the depreciated amount, calculated on the basis of duration you are using them. In case you decide not to get them replaced, the company will pay the depreciated amount to you in cash.
It is wise to have a property insurance policy in place, so that you need not suffer a financial crunch in case of disasters. The future is unpredictable and you should keep your finances secure against the damage caused by the possible perils. Get across to a reputed home insurance company and buy a policy that can keep your property and belongings covered.