If you own your own home, it is very possible that you might have filed a homeowners insurance claim at some point. Normally, the procedure follows a few simple steps like clockwork: an insurance company representative comes to your home to take a look at the damage, a damage estimate is calculated and repairs are made. In a perfect world, that’s how the process is supposed to go.
However, sometimes you hit a snag and the claim is denied. Never fear! Don’t be afraid of being saddled with the entire cost of the repairs. Linda Rey, insurance expert and author of the Equifax Personal Finance Blog, has some tips to get you through and negotiate your insurance settlement in her recent post “
Insurance companies must cut their losses, just as any other business would. They don’t want to pay for things in your claim that they do not expressly have to. Your insurance company employs underwriters whose job it is to examine your policy and your claim, determining whether your policy covers what you have specified in the claim. When your claim is denied, Rey says the first thing you should do is to review your policy and refresh yourself on what it covers. Make sure you are familiar with its limits. Next, have you unknowingly done anything to invalidate your policy? Are you up to date on your insurance payments? It is a good idea to check.
Documentation will be key to getting you through this negotiation process. Every single time you communicate with the insurance company, remember to write down the date, time and name of the person you dealt with. Writing down this person’s direct phone number is also a good idea. Notes about how the conversation went will be helpful as well.
Most importantly, keep all all receipts, letters, charts, estimates, witness statements, police reports, medical records and other papers related to the claim. At some point, you might need evidence proving your side of the story. This is made much easier by having all the necessary papers organized and handy.
Lastly, Rey reminds readers to keep their cool. As the old adage goes, you catch more flies with honey. Using a little sweetness in your dealings with the insurance company might help you get a better settlement.
Rey’s post can be found at the
Equifax Personal Finance Blog. If you have any other tips or experience in negotiating a denied homeowners insurance claim, please share it with us.