Did you have an incident at your home that justified making a claim with your home insurance policy, such as a house fire? If so, you may be wondering what you should be doing to maximize your claim. Here are a few tips to get the job done.
Get A Copy Of Your Full Policy
The first thing you want to do is get a full copy of your home insurance policy. This should have the sections for the declaration page, insuring agreement, conditions, and exclusions. Make sure that you get the full policy, not just your declarations page, because it is going to be necessary for the next step.
Verify Your Insurance Coverage
You are going to want to read over your policy to make sure that you fully understand the coverage that you have. You'll want to look at the building coverage for your main and additional structures, the content coverage for everything inside your home, additional living expenses related to needing to stay at a hotel or rental home while your place is repaired, and business interruption coverage for loss of rental income. Those are going to be the main losses that you'll be seeking compensation for from your insurance provider. It's important to know what is covered to have a good idea of what you can include in your claim.
Estimate Your Total Losses
Many insurance companies use contractors to estimate what your total losses are, with the goal of figuring out how much it will cost to return your home to how it was before the loss. This includes repairing damage to your structures, replacing contents, and determining those additional living costs. It's a good idea to perform your own estimates to make sure that they are accurate.
A contractor is not going to know every single item that is in your home for estimating personal property, and you have a much better idea than they do. By doing your own research, you'll have a clear idea of what your claim is worth.
Negotiate With The Insurance Company
Now that you know the policy that you have, what is covered, and your potential losses, you can start negotiating with the insurance provider. By having evidence of what will support your claim to return your home to its value before the incident, you are in the best position to negotiate with your insurance agent. You will be surprised at how much more effective negotiations can be when you are completely prepared.