If you discover that a burglar has broken into your home or if any damage occurs for other reasons, such as a fire or broken pipes, for example, there are several things you have to do. The first thing to do in the event of a burglary is to notify the police immediately. Do not touch anything until they have concluded their investigation because you may destroy any evidence that they need to solve the crime. Then make a list of any stolen items or damages and notify your insurance representative. You need to obtain a claim form immediately because there are some companies that have time limits on filing a claim. You may have to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage from occurring.
When you contact the insurance company, they will send an adjuster to make an appraisal of the costs of repairs. The insurance policy that you have is a contract between you and the company. Make sure that you read all of it, especially the fine print, to make sure that you have everything you need for coverage. If your claim is not greater than your deductible, it is really pointless to file a claim because the insurance company will not have to pay out anything. When you contact the insurance agent there are certain questions you need to ask:
If it is possible you can document the damage with a videotape. This lets the insurance agent see at a glance the extent of the damage and will be able to advise you whether or not the claim may exceed the deductible in your policy. You will also need to have an accurate inventory of all the items in the house that have been damaged or destroyed. Once the cost of the damages has been appraised by an adjuster, you can choose to do the repairs yourself or have someone else do them for you. If you choose to do the repairs, the insurance company will issue you a check for the amount of the damage, less the deductible. If you want the insurance company to pay a contractor to do the repairs, the company will pay the contractor the amount required less the deductible, which you will have to pay.
It is important to keep all receipts for expenses you incur as a result of the damage or loss. These have to accompany your claim so that you will be reimbursed for this amount. If you have any difficulty completing the claim forms, your agent will only be too glad to assist you. Return the completed forms within the time frame specified in your policy. The length of time it takes to process the forms vary from company to company, but you should expect to have your check in about two to three weeks. Many insurance companies also have an online presence where you can fill out claim forms online and submit them right from your computer. You should also keep a record of any and all conversations you have with your agent as this might come in handy in the event of any discrepancy in the amount of money you receive.
If you complete all the steps from the time you discover the damage to your home, you will not have any difficulty getting the service you need from your insurance company.
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