What to Do When Waiting on a Homeowners Claim
You submitted your claim and an adjuster has inspected your home, now what?
Is a check on the way? Will your insurance company call? Should you still pay your premium? When will this get fixed?
These are just a few of the questions we typically hear from customers waiting on a claim. We get it, there’s a lack of information about how to handle the homeowner's insurance claims process. For many homeowners, a claim is filed maybe once or twice a lifetime — it’s a problem you don’t commonly deal with.
While you’re waiting for your claim to process, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you stick to this list, nothing should catch you off guard after your claim is filed.
1. Don’t Stop Any Payments
Once you’ve filed a claim, continue paying your insurance premium, utilities and mortgage. This may sound obvious, but some people assume insurance will cover these costs while a claim is underway. It is important to notify your mortgage lender and utility company about your claim and the damages that occurred.
2. Maintain Records of Expenses
Be sure to track your expenses related to your home. Expenses related to any damages can be reimbursed by the insurance company. While this may only matter for severe damage, we suggest everyone maintain accurate records just in case.
3. Don’t Stress About Premiums
Just because you file a claim doesn’t mean your insurance premium will increase. While insurance claims are tracked and maintained in a database, premium spikes are hard to predict. Isolated property claims filed as an “act of God” or categorized as a “catastrophic event” do not affect your premium. However, the result of multiple claims in a given area can result in a rate increase. Additionally, rate increases are sometimes dependent on claim frequency. For example, rate increases are more likely when a homeowner files multiple claims in a short period of time.
Every homeowner's insurance claim is collected by C.L.U.E. (The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange). It’s a claims information report used for underwriting and rating purposes by insurance companies. C.L.U.E. reports on:
- Pay out of money
- Filing for a possible claim
- Formal denial of a claim
It’s good to be aware of your C.L.U.E. report and what goes into it, but like we said, there are no guarantees when it comes to premiums, which is why calling us for an inspection before you submit your claim can help avoid an unnecessary increase.
If you’re curious, you can access your CLUE report here.
4. Get An Inspection
Other than your claims adjuster, no one else is required to look at your home. An inspection from a contractor is just another way to get an assessment of the damages that occurred — giving you another opinion on the damages. The best contractor to inspect your home is the one you are planning on hiring to repair the damage.
For example, when Superstorm Restoration inspects a home, we use a drone to capture images of damage and then analyze the data. We use this information to ensure our customers have the best opportunity to receive the money they need from their insurance company, to restore their property.
We generally suggest getting an inspection prior to filing a claim (that way you know whether it’s necessary), but there’s no harm in calling for an inspection while waiting on your claim.
5. Your Contractor
Once your claim has been filed you should turn to a contractor that has experience in handling insurance claims. As mentioned before, we recommend using the same contractor for your repairs as you did for the inspection. Very few contractors truly understand an insurance claim and what is involved in the process. It is in your best interest as a property owner to have your contractor meet your insurance adjuster to discuss the scope of work involved to repair your property. Having a contractor that can fully handle your claim, and is not just a “roofer” or “sider”, is also very important. Working with contractors within your state with great references is always helpful. You also want to check their track record, as about their experience with handling insurance claims and if they have any references you can contact.
Working with a contractor who is used to handling insurance claims will give you peace of mind. When a contractor is familiar with the insurance process, they can explain all the insurance lingo, help with any confusing forms and better use your claim payout to properly repair your home.
After you’ve picked out your contractor, it’s simply a waiting game for your claim. While we can’t tell you exactly how long you’ll have to wait for your claim, we can tell you that following these tips and preparing ahead of time will make the process a whole lot easier.
Need Help With The Claims Process?
As always, we’re here to help you throughout the insurance process and with any repairs you may need after a storm. If you think you need a second pair of eyes, give us a call and we can come out for a free drone inspection to ensure the damage on your property is accurately documented and that your property is repaired properly.
Get a free inspection today!