November 17, 2016

When filing a property insurance claim, there are a number of things you want to take into consideration. Remember, your adjustor will be a representative of the insurance company, so they will be on the lookout for inconsistencies or disorganized information.  Many homeowners make the same mistakes when filing a property insurance claim.  Here are some of the most common insurance claim mistakes to avoid.

Property Insurance Companies Hope You’ll Make These Mistakes

Delayed Filing

Your insurance company expects that you contact them immediately.  Most insurance companies require that you contact them in a timely manner, which should be detailed in your contract.  Once the period of time that would be considered reasonable has lapsed, the insurance company is no longer required to cover the damage.  It is best to file as soon as possible.  This way, your insurance agent may view the damage and assist you in filing the claim.

Improper Documentation

Many people don’t realize the power of proper documentation when it comes to property insurance claims. You want to document as much as possible when filing an insurance claim.   Visual documentation can support and prove your claim.  Photographs and videos are a perfect way to show the damage at the time of the claim.  Take this evidence as soon as the damage occurs.  Don’t be afraid to take a large number of photos and videos, from multiple angles.   In addition to photographic evidence, other types of documentation will most likely be necessary to support your claim.  Keep records of everything that you obtain.  Some examples include quotes, invoices, receipts and police reports.  The more documentation you have, the easier your claim will be to confirm and the more likely your insurance company is to handle it properly and expediently.

Not Understanding the Policy

Your contract with your insurance company covers certain types of damage.  Filing a claim without understanding your policy could lead to disappointment and denial.  Make sure you understand your policy before you buy it, and definitely before you file a claim.

Not Meeting the Adjuster

You should be present when the adjuster comes to assess the damage.  You will likely need to answer questions, derail assumptions, and point out crucial details.  Just don’t be overly informative.  An innocent comment implying that the area was dangerous or susceptible to damage prior to the incident may result in a denial of your claim.   All of these mistakes have the potential to impact your claim, but the biggest mistake you can make is to give up.  If your claim has been denied, seek legal counsel immediately to ensure that your rights are protected.