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Weather-related home insurance claims can be a whole separate ball game from other home claims. Weather losses are always more complicated because you’ve got thousands of people experiencing losses at the same time. The cost of the damage to the property as a result of the weather should be covered by one’s insurer. Below are some tips to make sure that claim is not rejected.
What to do:
- Make sure your insurance is up to date with accurate values of everything that is covered. If the insured contents are undervalued the insurance might believe you are trying to scam them and will lessen your payout amount or might even refuse your claim regardless of what the claim amount is;
- Make sure that the maintenance on your home is up to date and done regularly, insurance claims are rejected if they find out your maintenance was lacking;
- Whenever possible turn off and unplug any electrical appliances to ensure that shortages of electrical equipment won’t occur.
- Make sure that all electrical wiring is correctly insulated and is not exposed in any way, check them regularly;
- If you have doorways prone to leaving, consider installing a rubber water guard along the bottom or have heavy sandbags ready to block water;
- Clean your gutters regularly, especially after a day of heavy rain;
- Repair any loose roof tiles and/or leaks as soon as it occurs. Even better would be to check if everything is correct before expected heavy rains;
- Check any perimeter walls for signs of damage and make sure to repair them, you wouldn’t want them to collapse because of neglect;
- Make sure that all garden furniture, equipment and plant pots are secure and won’t fall or move easily or from a storm;
- If you have any trees, make sure to trim any old or large branches to ensure they won’t break off in a storm;
- Make sure you know and understand exactly what your policy covers and what it does not, some insurance policies do not cover damages that occur during intentional power cuts (load shedding) or flood damage. Make sure that your claim is clear and precise, otherwise it could be rejected.
- Review your policy at least once a year to ensure you are fully covered and up to date, if you have made any changes etc.be sure to update your policy;
- Inform your insurance provider if you have any generators installed for your house;
- Make your claim as soon as possible for any weather damage so the insurance can respond, and you can have the damages repaired as soon as possible to prevent any further damage;
- Take photos of the damage and make sure they are clear to send along with your claim; and
- Remember to keep any records and receipts of any repairs done.
Insurance agencies look at any damages that occurred but also at the state of the property. Insurance claims are often rejected if it is evident that regular maintenance is not done to the property.
With awareness, precaution and proper maintenance it is much easier to ensure you are covered and will lessen your chances of rejected claims. Aim for prevention whenever possible.
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