Working With Home Insurance
It’s common knowledge that home insurance is available to protect your home from any unexpected occurrences. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a burglary, your insurance company is there to help you through the process of replacing your damaged, destroyed, or missing items. It’s not common knowledge for many people precisely how the home insurance claim process works following a burglary or theft until they’re in the middle of the claims process and learning how many things they could have done before to make it easier. You don’t expect to be the victim of a theft or burglary, and that leaves many people unprepared. Here’s what you can do now to make any potential home insurance claims easier should you ever be forced to file one.
What You Can Do Now
The next most important thing you can do is make an inventory. This should encompass everything in your home from your electronics to your designer handbags, clothing, and shoes. It should include furniture, jewels, and other belongings. Everything you own is of some value, and it’s all worth replacing if a natural disaster occurs or your home is broken into. Make a list of each item, what it’s worth, and where it’s located in your home. Take a photo of each item.
If you have receipts for those important items, it’s time to take photos of those or make copies of them. Your inventory list, photos, and receipts should be placed somewhere safe. A fireproof safe, a safety deposit box, or online in a safe location where it can’t be lost or deleted are some of the safest places you can keep these items.
Insurance adjusters from your home insurance company can process your claim faster and with more accuracy if you have these items on hand when filing a claim.
What to Do When You File a Claim
If ever you are forced to file a home insurance claim due to natural disaster or theft, do it right away. The first step is to call the police when you notice items missing. This is common sense when you return home to find it’s been broken into, but some thefts occur during a gathering, party, or when you’re home and not even aware of it. Report the theft to the police, provide them with all the information they need to create a police report, and obtain a copy of the police report when they are finished.
Now it’s time to call the insurance company. They’ll want to know what’s going on right away. Provide them with the police report, and then make a list of everything you know is missing. Provide this, along with your inventory list, your receipts, and even your photos. Your home insurance agent and the police will investigate the incident. When the investigation is complete, the insurance adjuster will recommend to the company how much they owe you to replace your items, and the home insurance agent issues a check in the amount you are owed.
One thing many homeowners forget to consider is their deductible. Whatever the amount you chose to pay out-of-pocket, you’ll have removed from the amount the insurance company owes you. For some homeowners, this is a relief. It’s not always feasible for a homeowner to pay $250, $500 or $1,000 of their own just to have a claim filed. For others, it’s an inconvenience if you’re unaware this is the way it works. You might expect a check for a certain amount and find it’s actually far less than the amount you thought because the deductible was taken from the amount owed to you.
Prevention is the best way to ensure you needn’t file an insurance claim at all, but not everything can be prevented. You can prevent a burglary with a home security system and by keeping your valuable items locked up, but you can’t prevent a hurricane from damaging your home if one heads your way. Do what you can to protect your home, and let your insurance agents do the rest. Their job is to protect you, but you can help make that easier.