Appraisal 101: Understanding Property Values

« Back to Home

3 Tips For Handling A Home Insurance Claim

Posted on

If your home was damaged in some way that could be covered by your insurance policy, you are going to need to file a home insurance claim. Before you file any property insurance claims, there are a few things that you need to figure out. 

Step #1: Determine if You Should File a Claim

First, you need to know when to file an insurance claim. When you file an insurance claim, you want to make sure that you are filing it for a valid reason. For example, if your roof experienced some minor damage that will only cost you $300 to fix, and your homeowner's policy carries a deduction of $1,000, it doesn't make sense to file a homeowner's insurance policy when your insurance will not even cover the damage, as the damage is less than your deductible. 

A good rule of thumb is to fix any damage to your home that falls below the cost of your insurance deductible and to file a claim for any damage that exceeds your insurance deductible by at least $500 dollars. You should file insurance claims for serious damage to your home, such as a tree branch that crashed through your roof, or a bathtub that was left running and flooded your home.  

Step #2: Know Your Insurance Policy

Second, you need to make sure that you understand your insurance policy. Make sure that you know what type of damage is covered by your insurance policy. You can find that information on your declarations page of your insurance policy. Make sure that the damage your home experienced is covered by your insurance policy.  

Check and see what your deductible is. If your insurance covers the damages, you will be expected to pay either the contractor who fixes the issue the deductible, or your insurance company the deductible before they will pay the rest of the damage, depending on how your coverage is set-up.  

Also, check and see if your policy covers actual cash value or replacement costs; these are two different levels of coverage, which can greatly impact how much money your insurance company will pay to fix the damages.  

Step #3: Use a Dependable Contractor

Finally, you need to make sure that work with a dependable contractor. You will need to call in a contractor to come and give you a quote to fix up your property. The estimate the contractor provides you with is one your insurance company will use to help determine how much money you need for repairs, so you need to make sure you use a respectable contractor who is really going to analyze what needs done and give you a respectable quote. 

When it comes to handling a home insurance claim, you need to determine if your issue is big enough for you to file a claim in the first place. You need to read your insurance policy, and you need to make sure you know how your policy works. Finally, use a dependable contractor to provide you quotes for repairs, and work with your insurance adjuster to settle the claim.