The best thing about home insurance is that it protects your most valuable asset. That is, until it doesn’t. For most homeowners, unfortunately, just when they discover what insurance won’t cover, is exactly when they need it the most. And in the middle of a crisis, is usually not the best time to fight the insurance company either. So what is a better way?
Here are three things you can do to protect your home insurance rights:
Document, document, document. Making sure you have a current inventory of everything in your home, as well as everything on your home – such as any recent repairs, maintenance, or upgrades, is not only smart, but also proactive. Often, the first thing insurance companies ask for is documentation of your claim, and if you don’t have it, you are already fighting an uphill battle. On the other hand, when you can prove what you had, you can also prove what you lost, and what you are now owed – which is the insurance company’s job to cover.
Take pictures of everything. With Smartphone technology, it should be second nature to keep current pictures of everything in your home – the roof, the siding, deck, interior, ceiling, floors. You get the idea. Because as soon as you have damage, guess what you are going to do? That’s right. Take more pictures. This way, you create a running account of what your home looks like – under normal conditions – and what it looks like after damage. And the more you can prove your claim, the harder it is for your insurance company to deny it.
Know your policy. I know, a home insurance policy is not exactly captivating reading. But one of the largest reasons claims are denied is simply because homeowners thought things were covered that were not. Wind damage, for example, can easily be excluded from your insurance policy – and has been in many states with a high propensity of wind damage claims – and yet because you have hurricane coverage, you assume you are covered for wind damage. Not so, as wind damage and hurricane are two different things – something you don’t want to find out after the fact. So before you accept that homeowners policy, take the time to read through, ask all the questions you need, and make sure you are covered for what you need to be covered for.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in hail damage, weatherization, and roofing restoration. ASAP has offices in Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake City.