Knowing that you are covered from an accident with home insurance can be a comfort to fall back on. But it isn’t always a good idea to file a home insurance claim, and there are more details to consider than you might expect when it comes to receiving compensation for damages to your home and items.
Are the Damages Covered?
Home insurance policies cover a range of risks and dangers that face your home, but basic policies don’t cover everything. Make sure to double-check your policy. Most home insurance policies exclude coverage for flood and earthquake damage. If your home is damaged by a flood and you don’t have additional flood insurance, your home insurance claim could be denied.
Can You Meet Your Deductible?
It is also important to have the damage appraised before calling your insurance agent. This is because you must meet your deductible before you’re able to receive any compensation from an insurance claim. For example, say your home insurance deductible is $1,000. The storm that swept in causes around $700 worth of damage to your home. In this case, a home insurance claim can be denied because you cannot reach your $1,000 deductible. You must reach this before receiving compensation.
When Did the Accident Occur?
Most insurers have a time limit on when you can file a home insurance claim for a disaster. In general, it is recommended that you file a claim within 30 days of the incident. If you wait too long, a claim could be denied for a few different reasons. One is that the insurer can declare that the damages are due to negligence. For example, if your roof is damaged by a storm and caves in a month later, the insurer can declare that the homeowner did not take proper measures to repair the damage or file a claim early enough. An insurer also may argue that, since you did not file a claim immediately, the damages were not severe enough to warrant compensation.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course, and most insurance agents are willing to work with you in the face of a disaster. No matter what, make sure everyone is safe and any problem areas are cleared before calling your insurance agent. Be sure to check your policy before calling to avoid a denied home insurance claim.
Also Read: 5 Surprising Things That Home Insurance Can Cover
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