10 Tips to Maximize Your Property Insurance Claim

It's devastating and depressing when your home and belongings are damaged by disaster or theft. You're trying to put everything back together while focusing on your homeowner's or renter's insurance claim. Keep the following tips in mind as you get ready for the insurance adjuster's visit and during claim processing.

  • Make the insurance adjuster aware of all structural damage. You want your claim to be as accurate as possible. Miss an area and repair estimates could be way off
  • Make sure the insurance adjuster is aware of the quality and features of components of your home that were damaged. Upgraded finish materials and appliances easily add up to thousands of dollars
  • Give the adjuster a complete home inventory, as well as receipts and/or photos of possessions that were destroyed or damaged
  • Include food items and sundries in your inventory if your policy covers them - think of how much it will cost to restock the pantry, let alone the deep freezer
  • Include exterior and landscaping items in your inventory if they are covered by your policy
  • Give the insurance adjuster the receipts for temporary repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your home, including items such as extra utility costs
  • Save damaged items to show to the adjuster, if possible
  • Get your own repair estimates from contractors to compare to the claims adjuster's estimate
  • Consider hiring an independent insurance adjuster and work with an insurance claims attorney to fight low settlements
  • Keep a log for all forms of communication regarding your claim, including written correspondence, phone calls, voice mail and e-mail messages
Related Resources on Lawyers.comsm

Insuring Your Home
- Homeowner's and Renter's Insurance FAQ
- Find an Insurance Law lawyer in your area
- Visit the Insurance Claims message boards for more help

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