Homeowner’s Guide to Filing Claims

Having homeowners insurance is a necessary part of home ownership. However, having homeowners insurance and knowing how to use it are two very different things. Every policy is unique to the individual. It is best for homeowners to learn the facts and educate themselves on how to make the most of their coverage if they need it.

One of the most common sources of claims is water damage. This could be a leaking sink or a broken ice machine that seeps water into the floors causing damage. Below are guidelines for filing this type of claim as well as some tips for managing the resulting issues in the interim.

Prevention is Key

Maintenance is a big part of homeownership. If a homeowner notices a leak or dripping plumbing, they cannot afford to ignore it. Leaky faucets and toilets are often simple to fix if the homeowner addresses the issue right away. Failing to do so can cause mold and widespread damage. Making sure the roof is in good shape is another great way to prevent water damage before it can start.

Take Swift Action

Homeowners should contact their insurance company immediately after they notice any water damage. Not only will this help resolve the issue faster, it can prevent the problem from compounding. Homeowners should avoid hiring someone to make significant repairs before talking with an insurance agent. Many insurance companies have a local network of trusted contractors or guidelines homeowners can use to find a suitable service provider.

Owning a home is a major life goal for many individuals. It is important to protect such a valuable investment with the proper coverage. The Reilly Company can help individuals understand the nuances of their policy and decide how much coverage is best for them. To learn more, contact us.

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Common Misconceptions About Flood Insurance

Homeowners and business owners alike have concerns about water damage related to flooding. This is especially true if they live in an area prone to flooding. However, there are numerous myths circulating about flood insurance that add further confusion to this type of coverage. For example, many individuals think of flood damage as a total loss, but the average flood claim is around $30,000. Below are some of the most common myths about flood insurance.

Only People Living in a Flood Plain Can Buy Flood Insurance

While mortgage companies may require people who live in a flood zone to purchase flood insurance, these individuals are not the only ones who can buy this kind of coverage. Almost anybody who wants flood insurance can obtain a policy. In general, properties in flood zones are more expensive to insure than those that are not. Even renters can obtain flood insurance to protect their belongings.

Flood Insurance is Only Necessary for Properties in Flood-Prone Areas

While properties in flood plains need flood insurance, all buildings face a certain level of flooding risk. About 25 percent of flood claims come from individuals who do not live in a flood plain. Property owners should take a hard look at the risk of flooding in their area and investigate what flood insurance options are available to them.

Individuals with Homeowners Insurance Do Not Need Flood Insurance

This myth can cost homeowners big time in the event of a flood. Homeowners and umbrella policies do not cover damage related to floods. If an individual lives in an area prone to flooding, they should invest in flood insurance. The one exception to this rule is storm damage. If a storm tears off a portion of a house’s roof, homeowners insurance covers the subsequent water damage.

Learning about your flood risk and if you live in a flood plain are vital to determining if you need this type of insurance. These factors also affect how much coverage you will need. To learn more about flood insurance, contact The Reilly Company.

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Lesser-Known Facts About Homeowner’s Insurance

As most already know, homeowner’s insurance provides financial protection should a natural disaster or other calamity damage your home. This includes coverage for other types of losses that occur on your property. However, many homeowners are unaware of the specific nuances, details, and coverages within such a policy. Below are some often-overlooked facts that all homeowners should know about their policies.

Dogs Affect Available Coverage

Many policies provide coverage should your dog bite an individual on your property. However, many insurance companies place coverage restrictions on certain breeds. Some companies will not sell policies to individuals who own a dog regardless of breed. The risk of reduced or altered coverage increases with dogs that have a history of biting. In such cases, the insurance company may refuse to renew your policy, raise your premiums, or eliminate coverage for damages caused by the dog.

Homeowners Can Reopen Claims

After filing a claim, your insurance company will send an adjuster to evaluate the damages. After receiving the adjuster’s assessment, your insurance company will provide you with a check to cover the claim. However, sometimes you may not discover certain damages until after the company sends the check. Many homeowners’ policies allow them to reopen the claim to file for additional funds. In general, you have up to one year to file claims related to the damage.

Location Matters

Where you live matters when it comes to your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Your home’s proximity to a fire department can reduce your insurance costs. Some insurance companies keep a roster of fire departments and rank them against each other. If you live near a fire department with high ratings, your insurance company may offer you reduced rates. Having a fire hydrant within 1000 feet of your home can have a similar premium-reducing effect.

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. Having adequate coverage to protect your home is vital. To learn more about what your homeowners’ policy should cover, contact The Reilly Company.

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