When you find a good insurance agency in Columbia, SC, they will be able to provide you with different types of personal insurance. For many people, this starts with car coverage, but it could also extend to renter’s insurance or home insurance, depending on your living situation. If you have coverage and then something happens at your residence that requires you to put in a claim — such as a home invasion or fire — these tips can help you file quickly and easily:
Take pictures of the damage
One of the first things that the claims department is going to ask you for is a picture of anything that has been damaged. This could include a door that has been kicked in by a burglar, for example, or damage from a fire in the kitchen. You can generally just email these pictures to the agent. They do not have to be professional quality; a lot of people just take them with their phones or their computer. The company just wants proof that there is damage so that the estimates make sense.
Find some proof of ownership
If things were completely destroyed to the point that they cannot be recognized, as can sometimes happen in a fire that’s a total loss, or if they are stolen, you may need to provide proof of ownership. Again, the insurance company is not going to be that picky as they do want to help you out, but they need to be sure that you really lost the things you are claiming. This could be as simple as finding pictures of you in your home with the items, pulling those pictures off of social media sites and sending them in. Often, one picture could have multiple items in it; for example, a picture of you in your office could contain a computer, your guitar, artwork on the walls and many other items that you can claim. You can also submit items like manuals, instruction booklets, receipts and the like.
Understand potential violations
It’s also good to know what types of things could be viewed as violations that may void the policy. For instance, did you know that a home with frozen pipes must have heat at all times throughout the winter in order to qualify under most plans? If a pipe breaks at your cabin, for example, and you shut the heat off when you closed it for the winter, you may not be covered, but a pipe that breaks at your home while you are living there, with the heat going, would be covered.
Understanding these violations is important for two reasons. First of all, it helps you understand what may be asked and why, and it shows you why certain items will or will not be covered. More importantly, though, it can show you what type of information you need to give to the insurance company — such as gas bills that show you were heating the home — to prove that you have not violated the policy. The sooner you can get this information in, the easier the entire process is going to be from beginning to end.