Though homeowners insurance is a good thing to have—and, for some places, a necessity to have before owning or renting a home in the first place—no one truly wants to use it. If you need to use your insurance plan, then something happened that damaged your home to the point that it became necessary to use it. No matter the damage, proving said damage in the first place falls onto your shoulders, as well as the task to manage your claim and ensure that you’re fully compensated for what you’re entitled to under your policy. The larger the damage to your property is, the more complex the process of submitting a claim is. To make things a bit easier, here are some tips to help walk you through the process.
Show that you’re knowledgeable
No matter how friendly your insurance representative is, that doesn’t change the fact that their end goal is to maximize corporate profits and minimize losses—something that will conflict with your best interests. Showing the representative that you’re knowledgeable on how to move your claim through the process will show that you cannot be taken advantage of and get less than you deserve. To show this, you’ll need to do the following:
- Know what your policy does and doesn’t cover
- Follow the process outlined in your policy to make sure you meet all contractual obligations and deadlines
- Figure out which parts of your policy are subject to interpretation
- Strategize based around your understanding of your coverages, endorsements, exclusions, and policy limits
- Document everything in writing so you have a paper trail to fall back on in case something goes awry
- Present your documentation and position to your insurance claims adjuster
- Negotiate the settlement you want, need, and deserve
Because the process is complicated, going through the hoops and struggles of filing an insurance claim will be time-consuming and stressful—something that will work against you in the long run. Familiarize yourself with the steps that a property insurance claim process takes so that, when it’s slow-going, you can remind yourself of the stages and be assured of where you’re at, rather than kept in the dark.
Consult an expert
There’s nothing wrong with turning to a professional if need be. Much like how you’d turn to an attorney for any legal matters you encounter, going to a public insurance adjuster will get you someone who will advocate exclusively for you and your best interests throughout the insurance claim process. If you have any doubt about maximizing your settlement offer on your own, consulting with a public insurance adjuster will make that process smoother and get you the money you deserve.