Home insurance is there to protect you financially when accidents happen. There are plenty of ways your home can become damaged, from weather events to water damage to accidental fires.
While your St George home insurance policy like Emerald Life Insurance provides you with funds to rebuild, there are a lot of mistakes you can make with a claim, and they can prove costly. These tips can help you avoid common home insurance claim mistakes.
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#1 Talk to Your Insurer as Soon as Possible
Good communication is key if you’re going to make a claim. Time is of the essence, especially when your home has gone through extensive damage, such as a fire or flooding. Failure to alert the insurance company quickly might affect your eligibility for compensation.
When the damage is smaller, you may want to take the time to assess how much the damage will cost and whether or not it’s worth it, but you will still have to act in a timely manner.
#2 Don’t Claim Minor Damage
As a general rule, home insurance premiums don’t increase when you make a claim the way that auto insurance premiums do. That said, homeowners that make frequent claims may see their premiums go up more than they otherwise would. The insurer may also raise premiums if frequent claims have been made on your property, even if they were made by previous owners.
If you’re facing damage in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, that’s what your home insurance claim is for. But for smaller expenses, you may be better served by using your emergency fund.
Don’t forget to check the deductible on the type of loss, too. The deductible is how much you have to pay when you make a claim, and that amountwill be deducted from your settlement.
#3 Create a Home Inventory
When it comes to fire damage claims, one of the toughest challenges is identifying all of your lost personal belongings.
The best answer to this problem is to be prepared before anything happens. A home inventory is a list of all of the belongings you have in your home, from furniture to electronics to clothes. The best way to keep one is to create a digital list, including receipts, and store it on the cloud or email it to yourself. Update it annually, or any time you make a major purchase, so you have all the answers ready.
#4 Check If You’re Underinsured
Underinsurance is more common than you might think. The rise in construction costs has only made that issue clearer, as home insurance claims fall short of new costs due to labor and material shortages.
When you review your home insurance policy, keep in mind that Structural insurance covers the cost to rebuild your home. If construction costs have gone up, you may need to talk to your policy provider.
#5 Track Your Expenses During a Claim
If your home has undergone damage that prevents you from living there for a period of time, keep track of all your expenses. Many of them are covered under Additional Living Expenses. By keeping and organizing all of your receipts, you can make it easier to claim everything.
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