The risks to property are many and varied: theft, fire and water damage, to name a few. Your response depends on the type of loss you face, but here are some hints to get you started:
Assess the damage as well as you can. This will make the call to your insurance company more relevant and more meaningful. If you have a camera, you can take photos or videos of the damages you will be claiming for. Documentation is going to be a part of this process, so having accurate information is extremely helpful. Inventory your losses and make sure you list everything that’s missing or damaged.
Do not make repairs unless necessary and try to leave things as they are. This is part of establishing your claim with your insurance provider. Nevertheless, if more damage is occurring and your safety and security is at risk, you can try to mitigate the damage by making necessary repairs.
If the damage you experienced has left your house unfit for habitation, contact your insurance provider. You may be eligible for additional coverage over and above the ordinary package you are entitled to.
What about my Deductible?
All property policies incorporate a deductible. What this means is that you will pay the first part of loss. So, if for example, you have a $500 deductible and you’re claiming for $20,000, you’ll pay the first $500.
What about my Repairs?
We know that choosing a contractor, the choice is yours. Once the repairs are complete, make sure they are satisfactory. Review your appraisal and inspect the repairs to ensure they meet your expectations.
Many insurance providers offer a discount when no claims are made. It normally applies to the year next following a complete year of making no claims. Under these circumstances, you won’t have higher premiums but you can lose out on a discount and this can raise the overall insurance costs.
If you make a number of claims in one year however, there is a good chance that your monthly premiums will increase. This varies based on your individual insurance provider and even which insurance product you’re claiming on. The change in your premiums will likely be affected by how often you claim, and what the values of your claims are. Usually providers look at customers who claim regularly as being a higher risk, and so they will charge you more than someone who is considered to be low risk.
This will ultimately vary depending on the severity and complexity of your claim and the subsequent repairs and replacements required to correct your loss. However, in an emergency situation your insurance provider will have provisions in place to help you in as many ways as possible and correct the immediate issues as quickly as possible.
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