Understanding the Home Insurance Claims Process

If your home has suffered damage from fire, storms or another disaster, you’re probably eager to file a home insurance claim as soon as possible. Getting back to normal—without fronting the entire bill yourself—means dealing with your home insurance company as soon as possible.

How the claims process works

When you’ve never had to deal with an insurance company for a claim, the process can seem intimidating or confusing. Here’s how a home or property insurance claims process works in Phoenix, AZ, and tips to make it go as smoothly as possible:

  1. File your claim: This usually involves calling your insurance company and telling them who you are, where you live and what happened to your property. The insurance company will assign a claims professional to your case, who will be with you throughout the process.
  2. Talk to your claims professional: Next, your new claims professional will make contact with you to talk about what happened to your home. They’ll let you know more about your coverage, any limitations and how they intend to handle the claim.
  3. Property evaluation: Next, the claims professional will investigate the issue, inspect the damage and, if necessary, talk to witnesses. This confirms what you’ve already told them, but could also give them some ideas about how to handle the problem.
  4. Resolution: After the evaluation, your payment will arrive. In complex cases, this could be the first of several, but for simple claims, you might get a single check for the full amount.
  5. Closing: After your final payment is received, the claim is closed.

What you need to know

If you’ve just received a check that is far too small to cover the damage you’ve suffered, don’t panic. That check may simply be the first of several payments, or an advance against the total amount. However, if you accept an on-the-spot settlement, you will likely only receive one settlement check. If you find additional damage after that, you usually have about a year to reopen the claim and ask for additional compensation.

Your insurance company may pay your mortgage lender or condominium association in part or in full, depending on their terms and conditions, or they may pay your contractor directly. Ask to make sure you know who gets the payments, when and why. However, your additional living expenses (ALE) check should be made out directly to you.

If any of your personal items were damaged, your insurance company will either pay the replacement value (requiring you to actually replace them) or a depreciated cash value based on what they’re worth. It’s smart to have a written home inventory available, backed up and stored in the cloud as well as in writing. This will help you keep track of what you own during a stressful time and make it easier to recoup the maximum amount possible.

Understanding the home insurance claims process in Phoenix, AZ is easier when your HOA is there to help. For professional and experienced HOA management services, contact Thrive Community Management today.

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