If you suffer damage to your home due to a natural disaster, you may need to file a homeowners insurance claim. Waiting for your insurer to process your claim can be frustrating, particularly if the process is not going as fast as you want. At some point, you might wonder what you could have done when filing your claim to avoid such a lengthy delay.
Sometimes homeowners end up in a bad faith situation because their insurance company will not honor a claim. Still, your insurer might be willing to accept your claim, provided you do not commit certain mistakes when reporting your home damage. Forbes provides some information on how you may avoid these mistakes and not give an insurance company cause to turn you down.
Not being clear in a claim form
Sometimes homeowners run into trouble when they try to describe what has happened to their property. There are many owners who fail to describe damage to their homes in clear enough detail for an insurer to understand. This can cause delays in processing a claim or even result in a rejection. Being as precise as possible about your property damage may avoid these problems.
Not maintaining your property
An insurance company may find a reason not to accept your claim if it can pin the blame for your home damage on you, even if in part. For instance, if you have a pipe that breaks due to quake damage and you have earthquake coverage, your insurer will likely cover it. But if that same pipe had a leak or corrosion and you took no action to fix it, your insurer might refuse to compensate you.
Not documenting property damage
Bolstering your claim with supporting evidence may help speed up the claims process. Insurers may have their doubts about a damage claim if they cannot see what the damage looks like. A homeowner can take pictures of the damage and provide it as part of a claim. If possible, consider providing pictures of the damaged area of your home before a quake or storm had caused harm to it.