Homeowner’s insurance is there when you need it, especially if a severe storm leaves damage in its wake. Knowing what your policy covers will give you peace of mind in case of an unplanned event. However, it’s wise to decipher the severity of the incident to decide whether you should file a claim or not to avoid claim mistakes. Below we highlighted the reasons not to file a claim, errors to be aware of, and insurance tips for success.
Mistake 1: Filing a claim for a small amount
Remember that filing a claim for every incident or damage to your home is unnecessary and can increase your insurance premium. If a repair or replacement costs less than your deductible, then it’s not necessary to file a claim. There are many factors to consider before filing a claim. If the repair cost is around $5,000 to $3,000, it might not be worth it. If you need clarification on a claim, give our office a call. Our agents and insurance professionals are happy to answer your questions and ensure that you make the correct claim decision for your needs and finances.
If you want to review your insurance history, you can request a report from the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE). The report will give you a detailed inside look at past claims. This report affects your insurance costs and coverage rates. Some insurers review the CLUE report to determine what your rate will be. It’s good to check this report annually to ensure your insurance history is accurate. If it’s not, then you can dispute the report.
Mistake 2: Not documenting the damage
Before cleaning up or making repairs, you should take note of the damage inside and outside your home. Take pictures and videos of the ruined items and damage to your home from different angles and lighting immediately. In addition, write down the date and time of the event. Save everything and leave the damage as is if it is safe to do so. Having clear and concise documentation will help make the claim process easier and less stressful. Another important tip is to have an inventory of items and before photos. Be sure to keep the before documentation in a safe place for easy access.
Mistake 3: Not understanding policy exclusions
Understanding your homeowner’s insurance policy and what event is covered is vital. When you are unaware of the details of your policy, it could cause a delay in the claim process. Also, not knowing what is and isn’t covered could cause costly issues. Natural disasters and other incidents like theft are overwhelming enough without having to worry about whether or not the damage is covered. Contact your insurance professional if you need help understanding some insurance jargon. They will help review your policy to ensure proper home insurance protection.
Mistake 4: Waiting too long to file a claim
When you decide to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, it’s best to report the incident immediately. Waiting too long to file a claim is a huge mistake. If your home was damaged due to a fire or flooding, it’s best to file your claim immediately for peace of mind. You have up to a year to file, but why wait? It’s best to file the claim right after the unexpected event to lessen the stress and to get your home back to normal again.
Mistake 5: Failing to take preventative action
Before you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy, it’s best to understand the details and coverage. We have a team of experts who can help you navigate through the process of finding the best policy for your needs. Take preventative action, read your policy entirely, ask your insurance broker questions, and understand the difference between water and flood coverage and covered perils. Not taking preventive action may cause a delay or denial. Avoid this mistake by reviewing your policy entirely and having the right coverage for events that are not typically covered if required.
Prepare yourself for the unexpected with Alex Rue
There are many ways to avoid expensive homeowner’s insurance mistakes. We are here to help with your insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage for your unique needs. The Rue Crew is on your side, and we will help you every step of the way. We want you to be in the know of your policy and get the care and guidance you deserve.