How do insurance claims work, and how do I choose the best contractor? Whether you need to file a home insurance claim now, or want to know what to do just in case, this article will help you understand how to file an insurance claim and how to find a professional contractor to work with - no matter what repairs you need. For more information on masonry repairs and services, contact the experts at Royal Masonry!
Do you need masonry repairs?
How Do Insurance Claims Work?
If you have never made a home insurance claim before, trying to figure out how to do it can feel overwhelming! There are a number of reasons why you may need to make an insurance claim: theft, accidents, and forces of nature can all cause harm to your home.
If your property has been stolen or damaged, you can make an insurance claim. When you have home insurance, your insurance company takes responsibility and accepts the risks of your home. Based on your home's specific risks, such as fire risk, you will then pay an appropriate premium (either monthly or yearly).
Filing A Claim
Unfortunately, if you own your home for a number of years, it's likely you will eventually face damage to your home or property due to weather or accidents. How do you file a claim? Obrella.com outlines these steps for filing a home insurance claim:
- Report incident - Once an incident occurs, you should report it is quickly as possible. By reporting the incident, you are officially "filing a claim."
- Claims adjuster - After you file your claim, your insurance company will take care of the next step. They'll send over a claims adjuster to evaluate the damage and determine how much the insurance company will pay you.
- Receive payment - If the claims adjuster and insurance company agree that your claim is covered by your insurance plan, then you will receive your payment either by direct deposit or by cheque.
Before you file your claim, it's important to understand how your insurance deductible works. A deductible is the agreed upon amount of money you pay towards any claims before the insurance company will pay you.
For example, let's say in your home insurance policy you have agreed to pay the first $1,000 toward any claims.
If your home is damaged by a fire, and the damage equals $4,300, you will pay $1,000 and your insurance company will pay $3,300.
In same cases, a deductible may be a percentage (for example, you pay 15% of the damage costs) instead of a number.
For some, their deductible depends on the reason for damage. For example, you may have one deductible for your home and the items in it, and another deductible for a specific type of damage, such as earthquake damage (source).
Documentation For Your Claim
Claims adjusters will ask you for very detailed information when you file a claim. Because of this, many experts recommend that you before you run into any problems, you should keep an ongoing inventory of all the valuable items in your home, along with their details (for example, your stove's model, make, and age, original price, etc). You should also keep purchase receipts if possible for items covered by insurance.
If you find damage to your home, you should immediately document it. If you find out that someone has broken into your home, you should wait until your home is safe to enter before documenting anything. Check out this quick video below by an insurance company in Alabama, that shows some information on documentation for your claim!
So, how do you document a claim? Well, there are a number of things you should do to thoroughly document your claim. Having all of this information will make it more likely that your insurance provider will accept your claim and pay for the damage.
- Document damage - Take pictures of the damage as soon as possible, write down when you find the damage
- Include receipts & proof of ownership - Include all receipts as well as any other relevant proof of ownership that you have regarding the item(s) damaged
- Get quotes - Get quotes and estimates from multiple contractors. This will show that you do have costly damage. It will also help you if you feel the adjuster's quote is high or unfair.
- Perform emergency repairs - Did you know that failure to perform emergency repairs (e.g. covering a hole in your roof) could result in rejection of your claim by your insurance company? Ensure you get emergency repairs if necessary.
Choosing The Best Contractor For The Job
So, you need to file a claim. Now what? Some insurance companies will provide you with a contractor if you do not have your own. However, it is often best to do your research and work with a company you trust.
Dealing with significant damage to your home or possessions can make you feel out of control. Getting to choose your own contractor can help you regain some of that lost control. Working with a professional contractor can make the entire process go smoothly and give you peace of mind. Check out some tips below to help you find the right contractor.
Finding A Contractor - Tips
When you make a successful claim, your insurance company is responsbile for paying your contractor. Therefore, after everything has been documented, your only job left is finding a reputable, professional contractor!
Here are some tips from The Balance on finding a reputable insurance claims contractor:
- Check references & licensing - Make sure you look at online reviews, ask for references, and do your research! Check out their website, and make sure your contractor is licensed and insured.
- Check estimate costs - If you need temporary repairs, see how much the contractor suggests you pay for these. If you feel they are unreasonable, you may want to get a second quote or ask for an explanation.
- Read the small print - Did you know that with an insurance claim, you actually do not have the right to approve any repairs? The insurance company must approve the repairs first - so make sure that your insurance company has approved the repairs and contractor before moving forward!
When making a claim, you may only have a limited time to find a contractor and complete the repairs. However, if you are not confident or comfortable with a contractor, don't rush into anything! You may end up finding yourself with more problems than before.
When Do I Pay My Contractor?
One of the biggest questions homeowners have when filing a claim is, "When do I get paid?" There is no exact answer as it depends on your insurance company. However, you can generally expect one of two things to happen.
In many cases, you will receive a portion of the payout before the repairs have been completed. This allows you to pay for some of the repairs in advance.
Keep in mind this is an advancement and not the entire pay, the rest will come after the repairs are completed.
In other cases, you will receive a settlement right on the spot. This means you will receive the entire payment before you even begin the repairs, allowing you to pay for the entire repair at once.
Royal Masonry - Choose The Trusted Professionals
The team at Royal Masonry has built a solid reputation for superior customer service and the highest quality stone masonry craftsmanship in Southern Ontario. Our mission is to provide you with the best quality workmanship at the right price. You can be certain that we will get the job done right the first time.
Our professional approach and superior customer service mean that you can relax in the knowledge that your project is in safe hands. Trust the experts at Royal Masonry with any masonry service you require. Contact us today and find out for yourself why our customers highly recommend us to their friends and family.