Making a claim on your home insurance is a critical time. This is it, this is the moment where the policy you pay for monthly has to perform and while you may be covered for the perils that come your way, there are still a host of things that can make your claims process much more complicated than it needs to be. Many homeowners can actually hinder themselves and the claims process by actions they can control. Learn more about some of the most common mistakes we see homeowners make when making a claim on their home insurance policy and if you would like to save on your homeowners, be sure to contact TGS Insurance today!
1. Never Reading Your Home Insurance Policy
Understanding your home insurance policy is at the forefront of mistakes for homeowners. The biggest thing here is that not understanding your coverage can hurt you by adding financial and stressful burdens that never need to be there. Know what you are covered for and how your home insurance works for you. While you should have an expert agent in your corner helping you along the way, it is still important to know what is covered and what isn’t. This will also go a long way when finding the right homeowners policy for your needs and additional coverages such as flood insurance. Knowing that you are in an area prone to windstorms means you’ll likely need windstorm coverage or you’ll be stuck paying for repairs in the aftermath alone, confused, and frustrated as to why your home insurance policy didn’t cover you in the first place. Ask questions of your agent, read your policy, and know what it is you are protected from before disaster strikes.
2. Failing to Have a Proper Home Inventory List
Not having a proper home inventory list can be detrimental to restoring what is lost in an event such as a burglary or fire. Thankfully, we have come a long way from writing things down and calling it a day. There are ways to create detailed home inventory lists that will help you stay protected, can survive fires and other events, and generally help you have the information you’ll need to present when making your claim. To learn more, check out our article on making a good home inventory list for your home here.
3. Relying on Home Insurance Instead of Routine Maintenance
This ties in with our first point, understanding your policy, but this can also be a problem for many homeowners expecting more of their home insurance policy than it will offer. Pests can be prevented with routine spraying and keeping your home clean. Clogged gutters can cause you plenty of water damage and possible heartache depending on your policy. Taking care of your home will go a long way in avoiding issues in general and those involving your home insurance claims.
4. Communicating Poorly and in an Untimely Manner
Failure to communicate is never a good thing in any endeavor and when it comes to filling your home insurance claim, this theme holds. By not communicating with your agent you miss out on:
- Understanding your policy and coverage needs, we can’t stress this enough.
- A timely resolution to your claim.
- An adequate resolution to your claim.
Not explaining the damage in a significant manner can complicate things but so can waiting. It is best to start the claims process as soon as possible and to communicate as much information as possible so that your insurance carrier can provide the right compensation and in a faster manner.
5. Forgoing a Public Adjuster
Larger insurance claims can be a lot for a homeowner to take on alone and while it can be tempting to attempt these situations alone, complicated claims may require a public adjuster. Without this impartial third-party, you may see many additional issues surrounding your claim including inadequate documentation, missed deadlines, misassessments, etc. Public adjusters may take between 5%-20% of your settlement but they can ensure that your claim is completed in a timely and correct manner.
6. Inadequate Documentation
The perfect situation? Everything you have covered, small and large, will have perfect documentation of its condition before and after the peril in question with every important document organized and ready. But this is the real world and we understand that this is not always the case. Still, keeping the documents that you need during a claim safely and in an organized manner will go a long way. This also goes back to your inventory list and why it is so important. A lack of documentation can make or break your claim, so if you are finding yourself having to document the aftermath of an event, having “too many” details and sources of documentation will always be preferable to having too little. Take detailed pictures and videos that are organized by categories such as jewelry or appliances. Instead of documenting everything at once, be sure to separate things and provide adequate detail within each category. You should also maintain these documents in a safe place with backups, preferably online in the event of an extremely destructive peril such as a fire. You should also be sure to maintain receipts, licenses, certificates of ownership, etc. for the things you have insured.
7. Making Excessive Home Insurance Claims
Paying for home insurance means homeowners expect their insurance carrier to be there when they are needed and luckily, TGS Insurance offers more than 35 A-rated insurance companies that are there for our clients every day, but excessive claims will raise your rates no matter who you enroll with. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t make claims in fear of a rate increase, but it is a warning to assess a situation and see if it is appropriate to go through a claims process. Smaller claims can increase your rate and end up costing you more money in the long run. For larger events, homeowners should take the approaches steps, but smaller claims are often better handled by the homeowner directly. Are you noticing an increase in your homeowners insurance?
TGS Insurance works with many different brands and helps non-customers and our current customers alike switch to providers with the same coverage for less money by shopping through our various providers to keep saving money. Give us a call today and save money without sacrificing coverage now and for years to come!