Are you aware of all the terms and conditions that could apply for Homeowner Insurance Reimbursement?
When you are choosing homeowners’ insurance, you need to pay very careful attention to the policies that you are getting. You should also make sure that you are looking at offerings from a couple of different companies so you can see the differences in what is covered as well as the price. For example, you may find that two policies seem very similar until you look at the fine print. Always know exactly what your insurance does and does not cover before you choose a policy. One of the most important things to know about your insurance policy is just how you will be able to receive reimbursement in the event of a loss.
A full replacement cost policy will cover all of the damages that occur on the property, so long as they fall into the exact details of the policy. For example, unless you buy supplemental insurance, it will not cover flood damage. Naturally, full replacement policies tend to be quite a bit more expensive when it comes to the premiums, and they may not fit into the budget of all homeowners. Most of the time, owners will have policies that have a lower premium and that offer a cash value policy. This means that it will pay for the cash value of the damage prior to the incident. Of course, this includes the depreciation of the property.
For example, if you have damage to your roof, even if it is an older roof, you can receive a full replacement reimbursement from the company provided you have a full reimbursement cost policy. If you have a cash value policy, they will subtract wear and tear from the property and will provide you with a smaller amount for replacement. This means added costs for you for the replacement.
Understand the Claims Process
When you have a loss, your first step should be to determine whether the amount of the loss is greater than the policy deductible or not. If it is greater, then you will need to report the loss to your insurer right away. If it is not greater, it means that you will need to pay for that cost out of pocket. When you do have a claim that’s legitimate and that is greater than the deductible, the insurance company will typically assign an adjuster to the claim. He or she will help handle the case.
In the event of damage to the home, there’s always a chance that you need to make emergency repairs in order to ensure that the home is safe and habitable. When this occurs, you need to make sure that you have all of your receipts for all of the labor and materials for these repairs. Always take pictures of the property and the damage, and don’t throw anything away until your claims adjuster says it is okay to do so. After all, the company wants to inspect the damage before providing payment. While you might be honest, there are plenty of disreputable homeowners out there who have defrauded insurance companies in the past.
Smart homeowners will want to keep a record of everything that happens after the accident. This record, or log, should include things such as the following.
- • Photos
- • Receipts
- • Dates, times, and names of people you speak with about the claim
- • Keep records of all documents you sign
- • Insurance company name
- • Company phone number
- • Policy number
- • Deductible
- • Premium due date
Having accurate records is always a good idea for every aspect of home ownership. The more accurate your information the better off you will be.
When someone is trying to sell you an insurance policy, you should be sure to ask as many questions as you have, and this certainly includes the claims process. They should provide you with contact information that makes it easy to get in touch with the company when you have an incident that requires their attention. This includes phone numbers and email addresses. You should never feel out in the cold when it comes to trying to get the help you need.
How Long Does It Take?
How long does a typical claim reimbursement take? First, understand that there is no such thing as a typical claim. Every case is unique, and that’s why it is impossible to pin down an exact number of days, weeks, or months that it could take. Many things could hold up the claim. In some cases though, they will go through very quickly. When you are choosing your insurance company, it could be a good question for you to ask though, just so they can give you a better idea of how their claims process proceeds.
What If You Have a Dispute?
In some cases, you might find that you don’t agree with what the insurance claim adjuster believes you should receive as payment for reimbursement. In those cases when you have a dispute, you will need to take one of two different routes. You can go through mediation or through an appraisal.
With mediation, you will have a neutral party act as the mediator. He or she will help attempt to come to an agreeable outcome for both parties. However, it is important to realize that just because you decide to use a mediator does not make it binding. Even if you find their terms agreeable, it does not mean that the insurance company will agree, and they do not have to.
The second option is to go through appraisal, so long as your policy allows it. Once again, it is important to read the fine print so you know exactly what your policy does and does not allow. In this case, you can work with an appraiser to try to reach a monetary amount that is agreeable to both parties. The appraiser you hire will work with the appraiser from the insurance company to reach a settlement. Still, it’s not always possible to get the two appraisers to agree to an amount. In those cases, they will bring in a third party to help. Both the insurance company and the insured will be responsible for the cost of hiring him or her.