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How to handle home insurance claims

Home owner property damage claims can drastically vary from damage caused by a brutal snowfall in Wooster, Ohio, burst pipe, or wind damage to roof and siding. The challenge for most residents is determining whether they are obtaining the complete compensation that their insurance policies have to provide.

Although there is no hard and fast rule to handle claims on your home insurance, here are four easy steps you should always be prepared to take both before as well as after filing a claim:

1. Carefully review the coverage

Review your present policy and have an insurance specialist fully understand what your policy package covers and what it does not. You should review the coverage periodically to make sure it is adequate enough to fit your changing needs.

2. Take pictures and video

Taking pictures and videos of your home, before and after an event serves as documentation. Thus, when you suspect a storm to hit, go and take photos of your walls, ceilings, and roof - both inside and outside.

3. Document all damages to your home

Besides photographing or video-making to demonstrate damages, you can hire a restoration company or contractor. Then keep track of all the damages and gather duplicate copies of every estimate and receipt you receive. In addition, prepare a detailed inventory of every damaged belonging, with their initial price, approximate age, and estimated replacement cost.

4. Follow the requirements of your insurance company

Insurance companies typically have two requirements of the home owner in a claims situation.

Prevent further damage - You don’t need to wait for an insurance adjuster to initiate making temporary needed repairs. Leaky roofs and broken windows must be fixed immediately so that your home insurance agency cannot dismiss some claim because of delayed repair. Keep all receipts and documentation safely, as the insurer will likely reimburse almost all these expenses.

Report the damage in a timely manner. – Many insurance companies require that you report the damage to your agent and make a claim within a “timely manner”. Obviously, all claims and situations are different so quickly reporting the damage is important. For example, not reporting exposed water damage for three days will likely lead to a total loss of the affected area because of mold, especially in Ohio.

When in doubt call your local Wooster, Ohio insurance agent. While they are not the final authority for a claim like the adjuster, they are on your side and understand the claims process. Having an inside source that you trust to help can make all the difference.

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