Home insurance is coverage meant to protect your home from sudden damage like theft and fire. If any of these occurs, the next thing is to file for a claim. When done wrongly, your claim will be denied or delayed. Here are some homeowners insurance claim mistakes common to policyholders.
- Not Reading Your Policy
First of all, before agreeing to anything, you should read and re-read the clause for complete understanding. Most policyholders are in the habit of skipping the fine print in their policy. Before filing for a claim, please read the terms and conditions of the policy to understand what it entails. Never assume that your policy covers a particular event without going through your policy document.
- Not Having Adequate Coverage
A typical homeowners’ insurance covers the belonging, the building structures, and other structures on the property. However, coverage plans are available to protect your home beyond the basic insurance. Not having enough coverage is a homeowners’ insurance claim mistake. In such situations, if the damage exceeds your coverage limits or if it’s caused by an uncovered event, you’d have to pay out-of-pocket.
- Having No Evidence and Record of the Damage
Regardless of the kind of coverage you have, if you do not have evidence of the damage, that’s a huge home insurance claim mistake. Your insurer will need to see all the proof possible that the damage truly occurred. If not, you cannot process your claim. Always take adequate video and photographic proof of the damage to prevent claim rejection.
- Having No Inventory of Your Belongings
Failing to keep a record of your property is another mistake. Without a proper inventory of your belongings, your insurer wouldn’t know what is missing or destroyed by a peril. Your claim may either be denied or not completely replaced.
- Not Maintaining Your Property
You should know that your insurance will only pay for damage, not the cause of the damage. Also, if the damage is due to a lack of maintenance, your claim will not be approved. Homeowners’ insurance pays for sudden damage, not one due to negligence. For example, a sudden water pipe burst can be covered, but damage due to a slow roof leak will not be covered.
- Poor Communication with Insurer
Another homeowners’ insurance claim mistake is poor communication. Most policyholders fail to clearly express the damage done to their property when filing a claim. If the damage is not well described, it may take a while for it to be repaired.
- Not Asking for Help With a Big Claim
Extensive damages and claims take a while to settle. Handling such claims alone is another homeowners’ insurance claim mistake policyholders make. You need to hire a public adjuster to help with the process and paperwork.
- Cleaning Up the Damage Before the Insurance Adjuster Analyzes It
After a peril, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to clean up the mess. Your insurer’s adjuster needs to see the extent of the damage and what is damaged. However, if you must clean the damage, keep enough evidence of it. Take pictures and make videos if necessary. Keep repair receipts too. Try not to throw away items damaged during the event to let the insurance adjuster understand the extent of the damage.
- Filing Too Many Claims
Filing too many claims are bad for your record. Your insurer may increase your insurance rate after considering you a risk. Unless in cases of extreme damage, you should make small repairs on your own.
Pierce Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency that represents major carriers. They act as consultants for their clients and meet with insurers on their behalf. Rather than make a homeowners’ claim mistake, why not reach out to us today!