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Has Your Home Fallen Victim to Disaster?  How to Deal With Your Insurance Company

If you’re dealing with an insurance company, it means that you’ve suffered some type of loss.  If you’ve had some type of disaster – like a flood, a hurricane, or a fire – you’ll need to put your emotions aside and deal with your insurance company.

But what if you’ve never filed an insurance claim before?  You’re no insurance expert; you just want to get back to normal.  You can help speed up the process by following these 4 tips:

1. Be honest

Your insurance company will need to know exactly what happened.  If you had a fire, the insurance adjuster will need to know how it started (if you know how).  Or, if you suffered a flood, you will need to tell your adjuster what caused it – like a storm or a burst pipe – and explain the damage.

If you get caught lying, you can wind up making a mess out of a situation that’s already unpleasant.  Eventually, your insurance company will figure out the truth, and they’ll likely deny your entire claim.

2. Do not over-exaggerate

If your cheap throw rug was destroyed in a flood, don’t tell your insurance company that the rug was an expensive Oriental rug.  Or, don’t tell your adjuster that your entire home had a foot of water in it, when it was really a few rooms that only had about an inch of water on the floor.  Exaggerating about your damage does you no good.  In fact, it can land you in some pretty hot water.

3. Take pictures immediately

You know that saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”?  Pictures are worth even more than that in the insurance industry.  As soon as it’s safe to do so, go around your house and start documenting your damage with a camera.  That way, your insurance adjuster can see exactly what kind of loss you suffered.

And, you can never have too many pictures.  Take pictures from each angle, so that you can capture all of the damage.  You’ll never be criticized for having too much proof!

4. Save any evidence that supports your claim

Pictures are great, but they’re also not the only thing that proves your loss.  For example, if you had to go out and buy a tarp to cover your roof after a hurricane blew through, keep the receipt.  Or, if your home was not safe to sleep in after a fire tore through, keep the receipt you got from the hotel.  Both prove that your damage really was significant.