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To file a claim or not

Most people laugh when they hear some of the crazy claims filed by crooks who are trying to defraud their homeowners insurance companies.  Fraudulent claims cost the average American homeowner up to $700 a year in premium charges, so they are a real issue in the insurance industry. But then, you already know that if you’ve been looking for cheap New York homeowners insurance quotes. You-we—are paying for the acts of these criminals.

But claims are part of being insured and if you have an honest claim, by all means, file it.  Here are some of the things to keep in mind when filing a claim:

  1. If you have been burgled, call the police and make an official report. That report will be required by the insurance company when you make your claim. If you have conversations with law enforcement, video tape them or take excellent notes so that you fully understand what the police are doing to help recover your goods. Your insurance company may want an update having those notes will refresh your memory.
  2. You must prove your losses. If you do not have receipts, photographs, videos or another piece of solid proof of the value of what has been damaged or destroyed, your insurance company will cast a doubting eye on your claim. Many people find that videotaping expensive goods—such as computers, artwork and jewelry—along with keeping receipts, can be helpful proof to their insurer.  Having receipts means that you can be compensated fairly under the terms of your policy.
  3. When buying a policy, do not be penny-wise and pound foolish. Be sure that your coverage allows you to be made whole in the case of a significant loss, even if it means more extensive—and expensive—coverage than you expected.
  4. The declarations page of your policy covers how much your insurer will cover if you lose your home and temporarily have to live elsewhere. Take a close look at this, because loss of a structure—your home—can happen. You will need to be housed.
  5. The exclusions page tells you what is not covered and should be examined closely.
  6. Expect that the insurer will send an adjuster out to investigate the claim and determine your losses. The company may even offer a settlement. If your loss is a big ticket item, you might consider hiring a public adjuster licensed by the state.