Homeowners’ insurance policies offer coverage when storms or accidents damage your home. Filing a claim can be difficult, especially when you don’t have much experience with insurance policies and processes. Some common insurance claim mistakes can cause your provider to deny or limit your claim and require you to pay more out-of-pocket costs for home repairs.
Understanding these mistakes and how to avoid them can help you get the support and compensation you need to restore your home. Ohm Restoration, the trusted roofing company in Springfield, MO, has put together this list of common insurance claim mistakes to avoid for better coverage.
1. Not Reading Your Insurance Policy
One of the most common insurance claim mistakes is not paying close enough attention to your policy. Not reading through your insurance policy before filing your claim often results in wasted time or denied claims. The policy contract has important information about the processes, requirements, and terms of each type of claim you may make. You can look for specific sections about coverage, exclusions, and necessary evidence to ensure you have a firm basis for your claim before taking the time to submit it.
You can also have a professional, such as a public insurance adjuster or property damage attorney, read through your policy. Understanding the exact terms, necessary evidence, and steps ensures you get a fair amount of coverage from your insurance provider.
Your policy may also outline the terms for your rates. By looking for this information, you can determine whether filing your claim will cause your rates to go up and evaluate whether the payment is worth the increased costs. Another common mistake includes failing to read your policy at the very beginning of your coverage. You want to ensure it meets your needs and includes reasonable terms and coverage for your home, so examine a policy carefully before purchasing it.
2. Admitting Your Blame
When speaking with an insurance agent or filing your report, you should avoid admitting blame or fault on your end. Mentioning any preventative measures that you failed to implement can make the entire claim invalid. Document the exact measures you took during the incident and ensure you know the series of events that led to your damages.
When you meet with an insurance adjuster, they may ask you about any possible mistakes you made or blame you could have. Ensure you remain firm in your description of the incident, and don’t let them assign blame that isn’t accurate.
3. Waiting to File
Filing your insurance claim as soon as possible not only ensures you get your funds but also increases the chances of your claim being approved. Some policies allow a year or more after the incident for filing, but it’s always better to file as early as possible for peace of mind and easier repairs or payment.
Customers who wait too long before filing their claims often have less evidence and a less clear idea of the events that occurred. This delayed communication and filing makes the claim less certain for you and the insurance provider. By filing right away, you can ensure the insurance adjuster and provider can gather the necessary evidence and understand the direct causes of the incident.
4. Lacking Solid Evidence
Evidence serves as one of the most important components of your claim. Take as many pictures, videos, and recordings of the incident and any property damages that occurred. Try to get clear and accurate pictures from a variety of angles, and remember to document any additional items or areas that experienced damage.
Other evidence may include medical records and bills for anyone who experienced an injury from the incident. Keep track of any exams, appointments, medications, and services necessary and provide these documents to the insurance company for compensation.
5. Not Having a Home Inventory
A home inventory is a complete list of each item in your home. Not having this list readily available in the case of extreme damage such as a flood, fire, or break-in can make your insurance claim less complete. Making an inventory list and keeping it available allows you to accurately claim the extent of your losses.
Homeowners can take proactive steps right now to create a home inventory and avoid this insurance mistake in the future. Include your furniture, appliances, valuables, and stored items in your home inventory list for the most comprehensive coverage possible. You can give this inventory to your home insurance provider after an incident with information about the items that are missing or damaged. This way, you can ensure you get the monetary compensation you deserve.
6. Not Mitigating Damage
While insurance claims cover accidents, a failure on your part to mitigate and prevent further damages can negatively impact the validity of your claim. You can mitigate further issues in your home by temporarily repairing broken doors, windows, roofing, and more. Taking small steps to reduce preventable problems increases the effectiveness of your claim and shows the insurance provider your ability to take responsibility.
In many cases, you can take temporary and easy steps to reduce the effects of the incident after the initial problem. For example, failing to turn off the water supply in your home after a broken or burst pipe means the insurance company can claim the resulting water damages as your fault, and they may deny your claim or reduce your compensation.
7. Cleaning Up Too Soon
After an incident or disaster, you may want to restore your home or clean the affected area right away, but it may cost you. Many homeowners make the common mistake of clearing damage or debris too soon. By waiting to address the mess, you can ensure you don’t throw away evidence, documentation, or items you need to make your claim.
Giving it time and considering the cleanup process allows you to fully gather evidence, take photos, and evaluate damages. If possible, you can wait until after you read your policy or receive communications from your insurance agent before cleaning the area. Many times, the insurance provider requires the insurance adjuster to evaluate the damaged area before you clean anything.
8. Not Negotiating Offers
Many homeowners make the mistake of accepting an initial offer or denial from their first insurance claim. You can actually negotiate and refute the results of your initial claim if you feel that the compensation or denial appears unfair. If you re-open a case, the company can’t close it again without proper cause or evaluation.
For rejected claims, you can file an appeal to get a second opinion and have your case reevaluated. The insurance company can’t close your claim without an appeal process. In addition, if you feel the coverage doesn’t meet the terms of your policy, you can also hire a property damage attorney to meet and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
9. Claiming Too Often
While it’s good to use the benefits of your insurance policy, claiming damages too often results in increased insurance rates for future policies and payments. Insurance companies look at your claim history when they decide your rates and create your new policies. If you’ve filed countless claims in the past, then they may feel insuring you is risky. As such, your insurance company may only offer you a policy with a higher rate or with less coverage options. If you plan to file a claim, then make sure that you truly need to do so.
10. Filing Independently
For large insurance claims with multiple factors and damages, filing your claim without the help of a professional can result in denied or insufficient coverage. You can hire a public claims adjuster to help you assess, record, and file damages and negotiate the payments from the insurance company. These adjusters may add additional costs to your claim, but they can increase the value of your coverage and can handle the complicated or technical insurance processes to save you time and stress.
Roofing and Restoration with Ohm Restoration!
Insurance is meant to protect you from having to pay for costly repairs or replacements after a natural disaster or other event. Unfortunately, filing an effective insurance claim requires attention to detail and some prior knowledge of insurance policies. Understanding the common insurance claim mistakes and how to prevent them can help you use your insurance policy for good.
Avoiding the most common insurance claim mistakes can improve your ability to get the payments necessary to make expert repairs to your home. Once you have the funds from your insurance claim, it’s time to finally repair the damages and get your home in working order. Ohm Restoration in Springfield, MO, can provide high-quality roofing repairs and a variety of other indoor and outdoor restoration services for your home or commercial property when you need them.
Repair your home with the knowledge of our experts at Ohm Restoration in Springfield, MO, by calling 888-319-7058 today. Get more information now.