Damages to your home can be stressful. You may not be sure where to even start with getting your home and life back to normal. We have compiled some Massachusetts homeowners insurance claim tips to help guide you through the process.
Step 1 – Contact Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company as soon as possible to initiate the claims process. They will ask for details about the incident and extent of damages. Based on your specific policy, they will tell you whether the damages are likely to be covered. While you are speaking with them, be sure to ask about other coverages such as rental reimbursement (if you are unable to remain in your home due to the extent of damages).
Step 2 – Document the Damages
You will need to do some work to document exactly what your losses are. This means sitting down to write a list of everything that was damaged or lost, from home features to personal belongings. Take pictures of everything! Include wide angle shots and pictures of individual items damaged (focusing on the high priced items first). Include details of items, such as model numbers, retail prices, etc. This information will be helpful in the homeowners insurance claims process.
Step 3 – Submit Your Claim
Your insurance company will send you a series of forms to complete. Be detailed and thorough in doing so. Include any lists and photos that you prepared as part of step 2 above.
Step 4 – Obtain Estimates for Repairs
Your Massachusetts homeowners insurance company will send a claims adjuster to view the damages in-person. The adjuster is responsible for estimating the cost of damages and repairs. It may be a good idea to obtain some estimates of your own beforehand. You then can provide the adjuster with those estimates and a detailed list of your damages and losses (from step 2 above).
Step 5 – Secure Your Home
Completing some minimal temporary repairs can help prevent further damage to your home. Avoid any permanent repairs until you hear from your insurance company. This may take some time, depending on the volume of claims they have received.
Step 6 – Review Settlement Offer
Your Massachusetts homeowners insurance company will provide you with a settlement offer. If you are unhappy with their proposed figures, you may be able to negotiate a higher amount. Consult with an attorney if you are unsure of or uncomfortable with the process.
Step 7 – Complete Repairs
Once your insurance claim is settled, you can finally receive the necessary funds to repair your home. Remember that the quality of the work and materials is important to preserving the market value of your home. If the workmanship is poor or appears to cut corners, this may be a concern to future buyers. The cheapest repair bid is therefore not the best if you pay for it in reduced home value. Although you may be anxious to have everything completed, take a moment to ensure that you are making good decisions when it comes to your home.