This week, I got to make a home insurance claim. We discovered water coming from behind our wall, which is never a good sign. After getting a plumbing company in to take a look, it turned out we had a cracked pipe (something that can happen in older homes) that was leaking and needed to be replaced. Of course, this was something we needed to get fixed immediately, and I wasn’t sure if insurance would cover it, but I decided to try anyway. So here’s how to make a home insurance claim.
The first thing you want to do with a home insurance claim is make sure that you take pictures of everything. Take pictures of the damage, take pictures of any repair, take pictures of any damaged items. We made the mistake of not taking pictures of a few items before we tossed them, and insurance might have covered that loss. Definitely a mistake on our part. I just wasn’t thinking about insurance – I was thinking about getting these waterlogged things out of our house in case there was mold growing.
Thankfully, most professionals are used to documenting for insurance companies, but make sure that you get detailed invoices from any company that you have come in. We’ve had to have a few different professionals come in, and I’ve made a point to get detailed invoices from each of them.
My insurance won’t cover any mold abatement or the replacement of the pipe (as the pipe is just a result of normal aging) but they will cover anything that was damaged by the water and the repair of the walls that had to be opened. So I’ve had to make sure that those repairs are placed on separate invoices.
File even if you think your repairs won’t be covered
I knew that a long slow leak was not covered by insurance because it’s something that I should have monitored and noticed, and I figured that this damage was the same. This was normal wear and tear, and insurance doesn’t cover that. But someone mentioned that I should put in a claim, and I figured there was no harm in making a home insurance claim. So I gave it a shot, and I was wrong. Some of the repairs and damages will be covered. I’m not sure how much we’ll get back after our deductible, but even if it’s only a few hundred dollars, it makes a dent in the bills we have to pay.
Is there an app?
My insurance company makes filing a claim incredibly easy. They have an app and I was able to do all of the uploads and communication via the app. They carefully walk you through each step and make it easy to upload documentation and photos. It’s a much more simple process as compared to the days when you had to physically bring all your documentation to an insurance office.
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Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.