There are many different ways to save money on home insurance, but the most obvious ones tend to be overlooked by customers. If you are a homeowner, the chances are that you have paid for home insurance at one point or another. It is important to protect your home against a lot of unseen damage.
While it is always advisable to make a home inventory, there are several other home contents insurance claim tips for walking you through the different types of events that would warrant filing an insurance claim.
You can easily claim the following seven expenses on your home insurance policy:
1. Theft or Burglary Damage
On the list of home contents insurance claim tips, it is important to note that only certain perils are covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. One of those is loss by theft, assuming you meet the requirements. Most policies will cover losses caused by burglary or robbery or attempted ones as long as there was forced entry into an area where you keep valuables like jewelry and money.
However, if there are no signs of forced entry but someone still managed to get into your house and steal items, this will most likely not be included in your policy, depending on the wording of your policy. Claims for property coverage due to theft may be subject to a special deductible.
Theft and burglary are the most common disaster, especially for new houses. If you have lost any personal property due to theft or burglary, you should immediately reach out to your insurer. Most policies have a $500 deductible for stolen items, but that is still money out of your pocket if the insurance company does not reimburse you.
You can reduce that by purchasing extra coverage in rider or floater policy that covers certain types of special equipment, tools, artwork, musical instruments, and other rare items worth more than $500.
One of the key home contents insurance claim tips includes checking with your insurance company to see what is included in your policy. Broken locks are another common claim, especially if you have any valuable antiques or expensive collectibles. If the thief forced open a door or window, there could be damage around the area where it was broken, increasing your deductible but still getting reimbursed for that cost.
2. Water Damages
A leaky septic system or several other water-related problems are some of the frequent types of home damage homeowners report to their insurers. Depending on how long it took you to notice the problem and respond accordingly, serious water damage can quickly become more costly than what is covered under your deductible.
With this, you should check with your insurer immediately if you notice any moisture or standing water in your home. Sinkhole damage is one event people do not talk about very often, but it does happen and has been known to cause some major property damage. They can damage homes and cause roads to collapse into the ground or swallow up trees in the blink of an eye.
One of the crucial home contents insurance claim tips involves getting your home insured before or as soon as you move into the property. With this, if your home becomes victim to one of these karst terrain features caused by water erosion, your homeowner’s policy should cover any damage caused by this natural phenomenon.
Flooding damage is another thing to prioritize in home contents insurance claim tips. This type of damage is often tied in with hurricanes and other high-intensity storms. However, flooding can occur simply from a clogged gutter or poor septic system drainage, leading to your lawn becoming inundated with water.
Flooding damage could also result from ice dams causing leaks inside your home. Whatever the case may be, if you have a leak that causes enough damage to warrant filing a claim, your standard homeowner’s policy should cover the costs as long as you have flood insurance coverage on your property.
Sinkhole damage type of insured risk is not something most homeowners ever think about. However, suppose you have an older home with outdated plumbing materials. In that case, one of the home contents insurance claim tips is that it might be wise to consider adding a kitchen sink or drain coverage to your policy.
3. Weather Damage
Another crucial element in home insurance claim tips is weather damage. Suppose you live in an iced-over area with heavy snowfall. It is best to be aware that some specific weather events could also cause damage that would be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
For instance, a large branch off a tree might break and cause harm to the roof or gutter system during a heavy ice storm. This type of loss should be covered under most policies as long as there was no negligence within your household, i.e., no neglectful actions leading to the situation.
However, one of the overlooked home contents insurance claim tips is that you typically only have a certain amount of time to file a claim following the loss before your carrier will deny the claim. While some areas do not see too many twisters or hurricanes, other regions are at a higher risk.
Many people assume flood damage is included, but that is only true if you have flood insurance in place on your home. Fortunately, wind damage is considered standard with almost all types of home insurance coverage.
If strong winds do enough damage to blow off gutters or break windows, you will be covered for this event. There may be additional limitations on certain policies for this type of loss based on your deductible and how much roofing service repair costs might be to the overall policy limits.
4. Actual Cash Value v. Replacement Cost Coverage
You have probably already been aware of the different types of property coverage and home contents insurance claim tips. You may even know that you can file some home insurance claims without receipts or proof of purchase, especially when it comes to damage caused by events like fires and floods.
But did you know there are other types of claims you need proof of value? This includes replacement-cost coverage for custom items, such as a custom car, custom walkways, in ground pool, and driveways. In addition to standard property insurance coverage for your house, contents, furnishings, garage, etc., you should request custom-item coverage under a separate policy.
One of the important things to know in the home contents insurance claim tips is the difference between ACV and replacement cost coverage because they are both things your insurance policy will pay for if anything should happen to your home. Replacement cost coverage will pay out whatever it costs to replace whatever was lost or damaged by fire or another disaster, including an HVAC repair service.
ACV will only pay out what the item was worth when it burned or became unusable. Coverage for the personal property should be claimed according to its actual cash value, not the market value or replacement cost.
Marketplace changes and depreciation affect what something is worth today, which means that the insured may pay more than they should for their claim if their coverage provides full replacement costs. It is essential to understand how much will be paid out by the insurer for each item lost in a fire or other disaster. This way, individuals can ensure they have insurance to cover expenses like roofing services while still taking home some money.
5. Customized Plans for Special Needs
One of the home contents insurance claim tips most people do not know is the customization of insurance plans. People who have special needs, such as handicapped accessibility, may be eligible for discounts on their insurance. Customers should always check with local providers before assuming they do not qualify for this type of coverage, which could mean big savings.
It also does not hurt to ask about additional discounts if homeowners are willing to install safety devices like smoke detectors or deadbolt locks on doors. Sometimes, this is all it takes to lower rates.
One can claim losses on securities with the assistance of a securities lawyer, but what about home? Home insurance policies are available to protect your house from perils like fire, theft, etc., but do they cover securities? The short answer is NO!
Your securities cannot be insured against risks under your home insurance policy. However, insurers have come up with a proposal where you can make securities loss claims along with other items in your household inventory.
The proposal needs separate treatment for special cases that provide security coverage beyond the regular limits of home coverage, subject to pre-approvals by authorized agencies and subsequent confirmation by insurers. The covered securities are stocks or bonds-held either through physical possession or dematerialized securities.
6. Emergency Repairs
Another thing to prioritize on the home contents insurance tips is emergency repairs. Emergency repairs are the costs you incur for sudden and unexpected damage to your home that cannot wait until you have had time to contact your insurer or service provider.
Suppose a natural disaster strikes in your area, and you have no time to make immediate arrangements for home insurance. In that case, the expenses incurred should be reimbursed as long as you file an official claim within a reasonable time frame.
The average cost of an emergency repair varies per claim. That is why it is important to know what they are so you can use them when trying to lower your premiums by reducing claims.
It may seem like common sense, but any work done without prior warning counts as an emergency repair. The types of things that fall into this category include roach removal, flooding or rain damage, a fallen tree, and an inoperative furnace if your home’s temperature is dropping.
Normal wear and tear do not qualify as a claim, so things like worn weather stripping, falling roof tiles, and doors that do not close properly will not be covered. If there is any doubt about the nature of the work done, do water testing by a professional to get an objective opinion.
7. Homeowners’ Warranty
Also known as homeowners’ insurance protection plans, these are usually sold separately but can be added to other policies for an additional cost. It provides basic coverage of appliances and systems like air conditioners for five and 15 years.
As part of the home contents insurance claim tips list, remember that any claims that need to be filed will be handled by the individual’s insurer rather than the people who make the repairs under warranty. Like any regular homeowner, you will likely have to deal with repair costs throughout your time as a legal inhabitant.
Fortunately for legal homeowners, legal services may be available to make these expenses more manageable, including legal expense insurance accounts. The legal services covered under legal expense insurance include legal fees incurred when repairing or renovating your home, belongings, or legal household items.
This includes but is not limited to appliances, custom window coverings, custom apps, software development fees, legal assistance in neighborhood or community legal disputes concerning parking issues on public roads, etc. Many people forget about the possible homeowners’ warranty as expenses you can easily claim on home insurance.
To file an insurance claim for legal service expenses related to home repair, legal expense insurance must be included as a legal expense in the homeowner’s home insurance policy. The legal service expenses must be covered under legal services and not legal fees or expenses, and they cannot be covered under legal aid.
Depending on your home insurance provider, you may need to show proof of legal services, so ask your legal representative for an itemized list of all services performed just in case. It is also wise to keep copies of any receipts or invoices issued by your legal service providers. However, if you paid for these costs out-of-pocket without involving your insurance provider, then, unfortunately, these expenditures will not be compensated back to you under legal expense insurance.
The majority of homeowners may not be aware of all the home contents insurance claim tips. This denies them a chance to save on home repairs and damage. Homeowners need to understand what they are covered for when it does happen before occupying their new houses.