A loud crash overhead, shattered glass, constant drip of water from your kitchen ceiling- any of these could indicate that you need to learn how to file a home insurance claim right away! You can’t just sit back and hope your insurance company pays. To ensure that your homeowners insurance claim is paid in full, you must report the problem as soon as possible, keep track of all expenses, and communicate with the insurer. Here are seven pointers to make the process go more smoothly.

7 Steps To Take When Filing A Home Insurance Claim

Submit Your Home Insurance Claim Immediately

You may be able to submit home insurance claims online, through an app, through your agent, or by calling the company directly, depending on your insurer. No matter which method you use, filing a claim as soon as possible can earn you adequate compensation.

Your insurance company will issue a claim number and dispatch an adjuster for damage assessment. Following that, the insurance company will make an initial payment to cover the estimated cost of repairs.

Take Pictures of the Damage

Taking photos and making an inventory of damaged items provides you and your insurance company with a record of everything that needs to be repaired or replaced. The more information the insurer has, the better — so take pictures of labels and model numbers, especially if the item is expensive.

Perform Temporary Repairs

You don’t have to live with a hole in your roof until the adjuster arrives. If it’s safe to do so after you’ve documented the damage, you may do temporary repairs.

Stopgap repairs, such as stopping a leak or boarding up a broken window, can prevent further problems and save time and money. If you do not take immediate action to resolve a problem and the insurer believes you should have, you may not be fully covered.

You can submit the expenses to your insurer as part of the claim as long as you keep receipts and can document why the repairs were required.

Keep in Touch with Your Adjuster

Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to handle the claim, who will be your primary point of contact throughout the process. You should describe the damage to them, answer any questions they have, provide documentation of expenses, and keep them updated on the status of repairs.

A public insurance adjuster is another option. A public adjuster manages the claim for the policyholder and represents you in negotiations with the insurer. You’ll typically pay a public adjuster a percentage of the final claim amount in exchange for their expertise.

Keep Your Receipts

You may have to spend a significant amount of money on temporary repairs before receiving payment from your insurance company. Even if you receive a check from the insurer, you must keep all receipts — estimates will not suffice. Typically, the initial payment does not cover the entire cost of repairs. If you want to be paid in full, you must show what you spent.

Consider Your Contractor

If your home is damaged, you are not required to hire the contractor recommended by the insurance company for repair works. Many insurers tend to bring in companies with which they frequently collaborate. However, if you have concerns about the cost estimate, you could still find a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor on your own.

Seek Assistance with Living Expenses

If your home has been severely damaged and you are unable to live there, your insurance company may be able to assist you. A standard homeowners policy includes loss of use coverage, which will pay for things like hotel stays and restaurant meals if you are unable to live at home. Again, keep all receipts to ensure that you are fully reimbursed for this portion of your home insurance claim.