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Homeowners claim: 5 lessons learned the hard way

We’re automating the entire weather disaster claims process from damage detection to full recovery, so we talk to a lot of people about their experiences filing claims after storms. We recently talked to one family who helped us really understand some fine points, so we thought you’d like to hear them.

Homeowners Claim Lesson #1

Don’t always buy the cheapest insurance you can get. A full 65 percent of us are underinsured. The time to find that out is not after the storm. Go over your coverage, and make sure it shows your current situation. Did you add a pool? Buy him a big diamond? Be sure everything is fully covered.

Homeowners Claim Lesson #2

Be nice to your neighbors. We all leave town sometimes, having friendly neighbors care about your property when you’re not there is a bonus. They can tell you about important news you missed, like a big hail storm or a rash of burglaries.

Homeowners Claim Lesson #3

You have the right to be present when your property is inspected. You can appeal. You can ask for another inspection, and another adjutor, and another opinion. You can even pay for your own inspection, to improve your negotiation with the insurance company. You can also enroll in WeatherCheck for free, and automatically know when to file a weather damage claim. If you own more than one property, with WeatherCheck, you can instantly know if any asset is damaged to the point of needing immediate repair.

Homeowners Claim Lesson #4

To just repair or fully replace is a conversation you want to be in on. State laws vary, but most define the percentage damage that requires the insurance company to pay for full roof replacement, less your deductible, of course. Because this is probably the most costly insurance claim you’ll have, you want to file a successful claim by knowing the rules.

Homeowner’s Insurance Lesson #5

Buckle up, buttercup, you’ll probably have to negotiate to get the best deal. Don’t be intimidated or rushed into choosing a contractor for repairs. Take the time to check out the company, and be sure they have a web presence and an office. Reputable roofers don’t ask for your payment up front. It may be a long, drawn-out process, but the roof protects everyone and everything in your home. It has to be safe.

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