Tag Archives: insurance

The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

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The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

It’s never something we would like to think that would affect any of us, but with the rise of inclement weather all over the world, it seems more and more likely with every passing year that your home will be involved in some kind of disaster. Whether it be a flood, tornado, earthquake, or a fire, it is a terrible situation to be in. But what happens after the event to your home and to you personally? Let’s try and address the issues about how to repair all the damage after a disaster.

The First Thing To Do:

The first sort of call when it comes to a disaster happening to your home, once everybody is safe, is to get in contact with your insurance company and file a claim. Depending on whether you are renting your home or not, you would still need to make a claim based on the damage to your property or your worldly possessions. It’s your prerogative at the start whether you would want to use a loss adjuster to deal with the entire process of the claim, which could help with the buildings insurance, contents insurance, as well as providing emergency accommodation. And the sooner you are able to engage with one, the bigger the burden they can remove from your shoulders. Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will undertake a fact-finding mission throughout your property, and based on the circumstances of the claim, forensic specialists may be called to undertake an investigation, especially if this was a house fire to determine the cause.

The Next Steps:

Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will submit a report to the insurance company based on the circumstances surrounding the disaster and they will also recommend whether the insurer should pay your claim or not. They will make a decision on whether the policy you have is sufficient enough to cover the damage, which is a big problem a lot of policyholders have, being “underinsured”. From there, the emergency contractors will be appointed to carry out any works that are urgent, and this could include water damage restoration companies, which will provide their own investigation into the causes. If you have issues in your home with things like running water, they will provide a restoration plan for you.

Other companies may weatherproof your property or make your home more secure by boarding up the windows or covering the roof. It’s important to note that the insurers might not pay for this work until the claim has been processed, so it would be your responsibility in the meantime to prevent additional damage to your property. After this, the surveyor will assess the overall damage to your property and put together a plan for the reinstatement of it.

The Contents Claim:

If your home was very badly damaged and all of your possessions have been destroyed, it’s important for you to make a detailed list of all of your contents including the cost for replacements. A lot of insurance companies act on a “like for like” basis. But if you are claiming for things like clothes and bedding, they are replaced on what is called an indemnity basis, meaning that there will be a reduction in their value based on the wear and tear of your original items. And if you’ve got a lot of high-end items such as electronic equipment or designer clothes, you need to provide the proof, the makes, models, etc., before the insurance company will accept the claim completely.

The Personal Impact:

As it would be expected, the process of dealing with loss adjusters and the insurance company can be a trying one, especially if you are without a home. During the process, you will be in temporary accommodation, and this could be the emergency accommodation provided at the outset of the disaster. After that, you would have to find long-term temporary accommodation that suits you and your family during the restoration of the property. This can be difficult to acquire, especially if you have a big family or have pets.

It’s at this point where the stress can get the better of you, as you’re not in your own home. During your dealings with the insurance company, you may feel like you’re being passed from pillar to post, but this is a fact of the situation, unfortunately. If your claim is in limbo, it can take some time. And during your negotiation with a loss adjuster, you may not get everything that you wish in terms of suitable emergency accommodation, as you need to agree on a budget with the loss adjuster.

The Final Pieces Of The Puzzle:

Once the ball has been rolling after the tense negotiations, the process of tendering will begin. At this point, the contractors will be appointed to do the work on your home. The contractors are usually specialist ones appointed by the insurance company, but if you want to use your own contractors, you need to be careful with your choice as there are many out there who may not have a good track record. It is at this point where the surveyor will meet with the contractors to solidify the final parts of the work, which will progress until your home is fully restored. It’s important to note that at this point, you may wish to make some alterations to your home, pending the approval of the surveyor. After this, your contents claim would be agreed, items are secured, and you can return home.

While we all hope that it doesn’t happen to us, it’s important that if your home suffers from any type of disaster that you have the right policies in place. If you don’t have any insurance, it is recommended that you get something for peace of mind. If your home is ever going to suffer a disaster, with the right insurance policies in place you know you can, at least, rebuild your life.

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Sick Of High Medical Bills?

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Sick Of High Medical Bills?

If medical bills are starting to drive you into an unhealthy debt, don’t despair. You shouldn’t have to financially ruin yourself in order to care for your health. There are many sly ways of cutting expenses on your medical bills that could be worth taking advantage of. Here are just a few to take a look at:

If your boss offers an FSA – use it! More and more companies are supplying Flexible Savings Accounts as an option to their staff. Every contribution you make to these accounts is tax free and can be used to cover all manner of out-of-pocket medical costs including prescriptions, medicines, and dental care. You’re allowed to save up and spend a certain allowance each year – which should be fully taken advantage of. Even if you don’t have a medical problem throughout the year, FSA spendings can be used to buy over-the-counter drugs, baby products, bandages, crutches and in some cases eye wear such as glasses or contact lenses.

Ditch big brand medicine: Only buying medicine from big brands is a rip off. These brands may have enough popularity and money to advertise on TV, but they’ll have had to pass exactly the same quality tests as lesser known drugs from small brands. These small brands are likely to be much cheaper. If you’re on a prescription, shop around for other similar medicines that you could be saving money on. Ask your doctor and switch to generic brands to save a very pretty penny.

Tailor your insurance plan to you: Taking the time to really shop around for health insurance plans can save you a lot of money. Use comparison sites and check companies that are off of these comparison sites, too. Companies such as Health Insurance Innovations are known for being able to offer customized plans to suit your needs. You may also find a good family bundle somewhere that could also save costs. And remember that you can lower your premiums by raising your deductible.

Join a farm bureau: Every state has its own farm bureau – an organization primarily set up for farmers, although practically anyone can join (farmer or not!). Joining will cost a small monthly or annual fee, however, you usually will get all kinds of perks, a common one being huge medical discounts. Always check the incentives offered by your local bureau first before signing up, as perks do vary from state to state.

Get help from an advocate: Advocacy programs are largely in place to help those in need who may not be able to make a medical decision for themselves. However, advocates can also help out those that are financially struggling with healthcare. An advocate may be able to shop around for you, come up with alternative treatment plans, and negotiate better rates from hospitals and insurers. This isn’t a service that everyone can take advantage of – your financial situation may have to be assessed first to determine whether you really cannot pay off these medical bills.

Featured Image By: Torange

Back Up! Let’s Talk About Backup.

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Back Up! Let’s Talk About Backup.

Anything can go wrong at the drop of a pin nowadays. We are always told to back things up;  to make sure that there is a ‘Plan B’ should anything fail, an emergency route of sorts to go down. But what if you don’t know how to prevent the unexpected? Realistically, there are a number of things which can require back up in your home. Some, however, are more major than others – mainly in order to preserve your lifestyle, your health, and on a more sentimental note, your memories.

Start With the Memories: Any picture can now be uploaded onto a computer to preserve it. Old photographs can be scanned in and saved, forever immortal in cyberspace. Whatever you choose to do with them, remember that your laptop or computer is not the be all and end all in keeping these memories safe; the average lifespan of a laptop is actually just five years. You could consider investing in an external hard drive or buying up some cloud space to keep the photos alive for generations to come – just remember to pass on the password to your account to keep it going and have the files accessed forever.

Next, Your Lifestyle: Backing up your lifestyle? That’s a weird one. But, when you think about it, it’s not – that’s what insurance companies were born to do. Make sure that you are properly and fully covered for whatever is to happen. If you lose your job and have a mortgage, it is vital that your insurance will pay out any premium required to save you from having to sell up, rent out, or lose it altogether. Then think about even more material things to do with your lifestyle, such as all of your electrical equipment. What if something was to happen to your power supply? It wouldn’t be the end of the world until you needed an appliance, and we are all too reliant on such things in this day and age. Consider purchasing whole home generators to make sure that everything is covered when things get critical.

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Finally, Your Health: Health is a funny one. You can’t really back it up, but you can take drastic measures to ensure that you are living the healthiest lifestyle possible. Health insurance is the classic way of backing yourself up, so invest in a premium plan which will cover whatever life throws at you

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