Part 4: Completed Home
The work for my claim was finally completed, none too soon in my opinion. In case you missed it, find out about the event that caused my claim, the initial remediation & homeowners insurance, or the secondary remediation.
Home claims come in all different kinds of situations. The important thing is to take care of your home once it does happen. Here is the conclusion of my home claim, along with steps for what to do when a homeowners claim happens to you.
Day 43: 12/5
We put the dining table, chairs, and other furniture back in our dining room. We also moved our other furniture all back to its original locations (two other rooms were affecting by storing furniture from the dining room and upstairs bedroom). It is a RELIEF to have my home back!
Day 48: 12/10
I am dealing with getting the first payments to the companies. I am waiting for final invoice with proof of repairs being finished for the depreciation money to be released from my home insurance company.
Day 123: 2/24/16
The final bills have finally been received, and the final payment from the homeowner’s insurance company has been issued to us. After many attempts to get everything finalized on my part, everything finally blew up (We received a nasty must pay email threatening to send our account to their lawyer when we were still waiting on the final invoice. Luckily, our adjuster at Indiana Farmers was brilliant at defusing the situation and pushing it to a final close).
I signed the work completed form (which on my many attempts before I had never received) and an invoice we had been waiting for a very long time got to us the same day. I am waiting for the latest check and look forward to making the final payments and finally closing this claim. I enjoy my home being put back together and look forward to knowing all money I have is my own.
The trick with this last step – always involve your adjuster. They can really help defuse a situation that could escalate to a major problem without them.
Day 131: 3/3/16
The final bills are paid. If you ever thought a home claim situation was quick – think again. I truly feel for those who have large losses, as I am so happy to put this terrible experience behind me.
Long story short
After such a long story, here is a breakdown of what to do/expect after a homeowners insurance claim.
- Terrible thing happens to your home. You discover it and react.
- Keep further damage from happening. If it is water, get a professional remediation company to dry it out (NOT A CARPET COMPANY). If there is a hole in your home or window, cover it to keep the elements from getting in. Move your stuff. Do everything you can to keep the situation from getting worse.
- Document everything. Take photos of the damage. If you have belongings damaged, start making a list of what needs replaced. If you’ve done a home inventory, depending on your scope of damage this may be a good time to reference it.
- As soon as possible, report the claim.
- Wait to fix anything until you speak with your adjuster (keep further damage from happening, but if your computer is fried or your stove is broken, don’t get rid of them. Don’t go patching the holes made or stretching the carpets before the adjuster has a chance to see the damage).
- Discuss the situation with your adjuster and follow the steps they set for getting things done. They may come to your home to do an estimate and assess the damage. Discuss how work will be paid for and when you are paying your deductible (the portion of the claim you pay).
- Get estimates from any contractors you want to complete the work and give them to the adjuster. There may be some negotiation, or they may give you the go ahead.
- Be prepared to make a lot of phone calls to make sure everything is getting done. If email is their preferred mode of communication, use email. Don’t be shy to call and check on when they can work. Be prepared to reference your original estimate to know what work needs completed.
- Document completed work. Make sure all invoices make it to the adjuster. Take photos and get them to the adjuster if requested.
- Sign work completed paperwork to get the final invoices that include depreciation to the company (obviously make sure work is completed and you are happy with it before you do this). If you have a loan or additional interested, be prepared to have them sign the check before depositing it as well. Make any payments necessary to close your quote.
Home claims take a lot of work and put you in a major place of stress. Your home is a disaster, strangers are necessary to fix the situation, and for most of it, the whole experience is new and unexpected.
I kept this journal of my claim in hopes of helping someone else out there to have an idea of what it may be like. Every situation is different, and you can’t expect my timeline to match in any way to your own. If you’ve never dealt with a home claim, enjoy your blissful ignorance while it lasts.