Despite our best efforts to keep our home and property safe, accidents can still occur. Severe weather, storms, and stray baseballs can easily crack or break the windows of our home. To quickly and affordably repair your home, you may need to file a homeowners insurance claim.
It’s important to find a reliable, trusted contractor for your window replacement. The following article will assist you as you navigate insurance claims, contractors, and the repair process.
Before Contacting Your Homeowners Insurance
Before contacting your insurance agent, take time to document the damage to your windows. Take multiple pictures of the interior and exterior of your home, and take detailed notes. After documenting the damage, safe-proof your home to prevent further damage. Cover up and board broken windows.
Types of Homeowner Insurance Coverage
There are usually four main coverage types to your homeowners insurance:
- Dwelling Insurance
- This protects the structure of your home, including your windows, garage, and built-in appliances like your water heater or HVAC
- Personal Property Insurance
- This covers your personal belongings, like furniture, clothing, electronics, jewelry, and kitchen appliances
- Liability Insurance
- This assists if someone has been hurt or injured on your property, like a dog bite or falling off a ladder
- Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Insurance
- If your home is uninhabitable after an event, this helps cover temporary housing cost
You can learn how these coverages protect you and your home on your homeowner insurance policy declaration page. Your declaration page will outline both your personal information and the coverage details.
What is Usually Covered by Homeowners Insurance…And What’s Not
According to Allstate Insurance, the typical homeowners insurance policy helps cover damage from fires, lightning strikes, wind, and hail.
It is important to note that not all natural disasters are usually covered by in your policy. Like many insurance providers, Geico notes that floods and earthquakes are not typically part of your homeowners insurance policy. Check with your insurance provider to learn if they offer these protections in separate policies.
Normal wear and tear on your home is also not usually covered by your homeowners insurance.
Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim for Home Damage
Storm damage to your home will fall under your dwelling insurance. Damage may impact your roof, walls, windows, floors, foundation, or built-in appliances like your HVAC unit. Once you have documented the damage, and taken action to prevent further damage, you can begin the claims process. It is paramount to file a claim as soon as possible after an event.
Most companies make it easy for homeowners to navigate this process on their website, but you can also call the number listed on your policy. To submit a claim, you will need your policy number and an explanation/summary of damages. Your insurance agent will discuss your current policy and covered perils.
Understanding Your Deductible
It is important to understand your homeowners insurance deductible throughout this process. This is the amount you will have to pay before receiving a reimbursement from your insurance provider. Depending on the cost of your damage, you may choose to pay for repairs out of pocket.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000, but the cost to repair or replace your window is $800, your deductible would not be met. You would not receive any money back from your insurance company. In this case, you may choose to repair the window on your own.
If it costs $3,000 to repair your damaged windows, and your deductible is $1,000, you would file a claim and pay your deductible. Your insurance provider would cover the additional $2,000 cost.
Meeting With Local Window Contractors
After filing a claim, you will be asked to schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster. Before meeting with the adjuster, we recommend receiving 3 to 4 project estimates from local, trusted contractors. These contractors should provide free estimates, but not begin any repairs. Keep all of the estimates and any additional relevant paperwork organized. You will share these details with your insurance adjuster.
Make sure you don’t sign a contract or agreement or make any type of payment until your insurance provider has approved the estimate. Do not begin repairs until after the adjuster has inspected your home. Otherwise, you may not receive compensation.
If possible, ask your contractor to be present at your appointment with the insurance adjuster. This will protect you from any overlooked damages and will also ensure that you get a fair assessment.
Meeting With Your Insurance Adjuster
After receiving your contractor estimates, make an appointment with your insurance adjuster. They will help determine the cause of damage and assess the total cost.
When the adjuster meets you at your home, they will ask you about the event. The adjuster will create a report that contains a description of the window damage, as well as photos. It is important to share the estimates you received from your contractors. All of these details will be submitted to the insurance company.
Hire Your Preferred Contractor to Repair Window Damage
Once your claim has been approved, and you have reached a settlement for the cost of repairs, begin working with your preferred contractor to repair your windows. Your insurance provider will typically send an advance for half of the payment to allow you to begin repairs. The last half will be sent upon completion, minus your deductible.
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