• Welcome to Before the ClaimLearn how to successfully file an insurance claim while avoiding common mistakes and insurer tricks that keep you from recieving the benefits you paid for.
  • Before the Claim Article: 6 Common Mistakes People Make Common Mistakes People Make Before Filing A Homeowner's Insurance Claim
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know:

The most frequent causes of homeowner's claimsThe most frequent causes of homeowner's claims are wind, hail, and water damage.
  • Before the Claim: Frequently Asked QuestionsWhen should I file my homeowner's insurance claim?
  • Before the Claim: Article:

4 Tactics Homeowner's Insurance

Companies Use4 Tactics Homeowner's Insurance Companies Use to Deny Your Claim
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know: In any given year, approximately 7 percent of insured homeowner's filed a claim.In any given year, approximately 7 percent of insured homeowner's filed a claim.
  • After the ClaimAlready filed an insurance claim? Are the insurers giving you the run around? Avoid common mistakes and learn the tricks the insurer use to keep you from receiving the benefits you paid for. Learn how to get through the red tape and get what you are owed with less hassle! Learn More!
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know: In terms of dollars, jewelry was 

the top category for claims covered 

by homeowner's insurance policies.In terms of dollars, jewelry was the top category for claims covered by homeowner's insurance policies.
  • Before the Claim: Frequently Asked QuestionsHow is my homeowner's insurance claim going to be evaluated?
  • Before the Claim: Did You Know: The average premium for homeowner's insurance 

in 2012 was $909The average premium for homeowner's insurance in 2012 was $909
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6 Common Mistakes People Make Before Filing a Homeowner's Insurance Claim

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You've been responsible. You pay your mortgage and homeowner's insurance premium on time and in full. Unfortunately, that might not be enough if the right disaster hits your home.

Whether it's an exploded pipe, a hurricane, or a good old-fashioned fire, it's important to know the ins and outs of your homeowner's insurance policy. Just a little bit of knowledge can save you thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs and future resale value.

Ideally these are issues you sort out BEFORE you purchase homeowner's insurance but you can always contact your insurance company to amend the policy.

Mistake 1: Making Assumptions About Flood Coverage

Right now, if you're wondering if you have flood insurance, I've got some bad news: You don't. And that's a problem. Flooding can happen to any home, even if you're not in a flood plain or near a body of water. In fact, ground water caused catastrophic flooding for residents of New York and New Jersey during Hurricane Irene. Flood insurance is NOT a part of the standard homeowner's insurance policy. If you want to cover flooding, you'll have to purchase a separate policy from the federal government.

To learn more about the federal flood insurance program, visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Mistake 2: Underinsuring Your Home

This is one of the more common mistakes that people make. Unfortunately, it's usually the fault of the homeowner. Many people often buy homeowner's insurance policies that only cover the mortgage on their house. In some instances, this can only represent 80 percent of the total cost of the house.

A homeowner's insurance policy with adequate coverage should allow for complete rebuilding in case of total destruction of a property. In many instances, this type of policy will actually insure MORE than the value of your home because things like labor and supplies need to be covered.

Mistake 3: Not Understanding Your Deductible

Most homeowner's insurance policies DO NOT have a simple flat-rate deductible. Some policies have fluctuating deductibles based on the insured value and the type of damage caused. Wind damage from a hurricane might have a deductible of two percent of the insured value but an earthquake could be as much as 15 percent.

It is possible to find a homeowner's insurance policy with a flat-rate deductible but it's going to be a lot more expensive, if you can find one at all.

Mistake 4: Assuming You Have Coverage for the Unprotected Areas

As we covered above with flooding, homeowner's insurance policies don't cover everything. There are a whole slew of things that aren't covered by a traditional homeowner's insurance policy, like sewage backup. Mold is another area that won't be covered by your typical policy. You're going to have to buy additional coverage in order to protect your home from these issues. With unique coverage, availability will vary. For example, a policy that covers mold is incredibly difficult to find and will be expensive.

Mistake 5: Being Unfamiliar with the Claims Process

Insurance companies can be massive organizations with various departments. In this environment, claims can be handled with strict rules that don't work out in your favor. Did you know you should avoid filing the same claim twice? Duplicate claims are likely to be automatically declined by insurance companies as it is seen as an indicator of fraud.

Mistake 6: Forgetting to Document Your Claim

A decision about your insurance claim is largely going to depend on the evidence that supports it. When you need to file a claim, make sure to document as much as humanly possible. Take pictures of the damage with time stamps and contact your insurance company right away. It's also important to remember to save receipts for valuable items so you can reclaim their full value later.