Mistakes Commonly Made With Home Insurance Claims

Melissa Matzenbacher-Galan | Apr 27, 2022 | minute read

Home Insurance ClaimsHomeowner’s insurance is designed to cover your home and personal property in the event of a covered loss or damage. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers both the house and any other structures or buildings on the site.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies also cover any personal property in the house. In the event of a covered loss, you can also seek reimbursement for the cost of the repairs or replacement, as well as the time you must spend away from home while repairs are being made.

Everyone wants to save money on their homeowner’s insurance, and shopping for insurance coverage is a fantastic way to accomplish that. However, lowering or eliminating critical coverages is akin to going on a diet without exercising and focusing solely on statistics rather than results.

Do not put yourself in danger of being underinsured and being responsible for larger payments in the event of a calamity.

Once you have a claim, it is essential not to make these common mistakes:

Failing to read your home insurance policy

If you do not read or understand your policy, you could face significant penalties when submitting a claim. You could also face delays or other costly complications. While you should always have an independent professional agent on your side to guide you through the process, it is still crucial for you to understand what is and is not covered.

This will also help you select the best homeowner’s insurance policy for your needs, as well as supplementary coverages like flood insurance. For example, knowing you live in a windstorm-prone area means you will certainly require windstorm coverage.

If not covered you will be left paying for losses and repairs on your own, perplexed and upset as to why your home insurance policy did not protect you.

Before disaster strikes, ask your agent questions, read your policy, and understand what your coverage includes.

Failing to complete a home inventory

One of the most common home insurance blunders is failing to inventory your items before disaster strikes. If you do not have an inventory, you may not remember what you have and fail to include items in your claim, or conversely, you may have trouble proving to the insurance company that you had the items.

Free Guide: Why Low Price Insurance May Not Be The Best

The time to make a home inventory is now. Begin your inventory by making a list of your belongings, describe each item, note where you purchased it, and state the brand and model. Any sales receipts, purchase contracts, or appraisals should be clipped to your list.

Photos and videos are simple methods to keep track of your belongings. Most insurance companies provide free home inventory apps that allow you to walk through each area and add images, receipts, and appraisals, taking the guesswork out of making documentation lists. 

Mistakes Commonly Made With Home Insurance Claims

Lack of documentation

Before documenting the property damage, many homeowners rush to clean up the mess caused by a storm or a fire. Take several pictures and keep track of what is broken. If you need to undertake temporary repairs to keep your house safe, try to document the damage before it is repaired.

Photographs, invoices, estimates, and damaged goods can all be used as evidence of proof of loss to aid in the approval of your insurance claim.

Paying a contractor in advance of the work being started

Never pay a contractor upfront. Get a contract and have your insurance company review and approve the scope of work. It is common for contractors to ask for some level of down payment but never more than 30%. Also, you might consider using a contractor approved by your insurer. This will streamline the process.

Hiring a “storm chaser”

Contractors who know that reputable firms are swamped are attracted to large-scale storms with widespread damage. That is when these contractors show up at your door, promising things they may or may not be able to deliver.

Before signing a contract, make sure to research the contractor. Check references, inquire about complaints at the Better Business Bureau, and do an online search on Google and Yelp for customer feedback regarding the contractor.

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Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency Can Help

After family, the roof over your head and the wheels that get you where you’re going are among the more important possessions in your life. Whether you live in a house, condo or mobile home, and whether you drive a car, truck or motorcycle, Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency will get you the policies you need.

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About The Author

Melissa specializes in auto insurance, flood insurance, homeowners insurance, special event insurance, renters insurance, and watercraft insurance. She prides herself on knowing our markets inside and out.

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