Ah, the best part of the insurance claim process: receiving a check! That’s the whole purpose of filing the claim, right? There are a few different things you can do with your insurance claim check.
Do you spend it on repairing the damages to your home? Do you need to bring things up to code? What about keeping it? Depending on what your specific situation is, the answer might be different.
Fixing the Damages to Your Home
This is the most obvious and most common answer on what to do with your insurance claim check. Your insurance company gives you the check specifically for this reason. A hole is in your roof causing water to leak through. Fix your roof! Dry out the water!
Besides the obvious reason to repair the damages, there are a few more instances where you should absolutely use the money you got from the insurance company towards fixing the damages.
When you receive the payout from your insurance company, you might notice them telling you about the depreciation. Without receipts showing all the work you have completed on your house to fix the damages you initially filed the claim for, you won’t receive the depreciation check from your insurance company.
Tip: Never pay in cash for repairs! Most insurance companies will not accept cash payments as a form of payment to be used in the recovery of depreciation.
Learn more about depreciation.
Future Insurance Claims
Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with the insurance claim process again, we understand how frustrating it can be. But if in the future you have to submit another insurance claim for property damage that is closely related or close in proximity to the last claim you filed and you didn’t use the money to fix the damages, your insurance company might deny your claim.
If you have the intention of fixing the damages to your home with your insurance claim check, but instead either use some of the money for something else or cut corners by hiring cheap contractors, you may run into the issue of realizing your claim was underpaid. In this situation, it can be very difficult for you to go back to the insurance company to get more money from them.
Learn more about other ways your insurance company tries to underpay you!
Bringing Things Up to Code
When you have an insurance claim and something needs to be replaced or repaired, your insurance company is required to bring whatever they are replacing or repairing up to code if it is not already. Most homeowners are unaware of this rule when it comes to insurance and don’t think anything of it during the negotiation process of an insurance claim. This is one of the many reasons why you should hire a public adjuster after you have any kind of property damage.
If you don’t use the money you get from your insurance claim check to bring the affected areas of your home back up to code, you could run into issues down the line like if you decide to sell your house. If you don’t comply with building codes, you may be on the hook for fines and an expensive tear-out and redo of your project.
Can You Keep the Money from Your Insurance Claim?
The golden question. Can you just pocket the money? It’s tricky. Yes and no.
Technically, you can’t just pocket the money you receive from your insurance company. Especially if you have a mortgage on your home. Your mortgage company is usually on the check that your insurance company issues and will only disperse small amounts at a time to which you must show proof you are fixing the damages. But if you fix all the damages at your home, there is no rule that says you can’t keep any leftover money (unless specifically stated in your policy).
What If You Don’t Get Enough Money from Your Insurance Company?
Many people think that once they receive a check from their insurance company, their claim is over, and they can’t get any more money. That is not the case. Even after you receive a check, you can hire a public adjuster to fight to get you more money for your insurance claim.
Most property owners don’t understand how much they are eligible for in damages and end up losing hundreds to thousands of dollars in the process. Performance Adjusting can help homeowners and business owners get the most money possible for their insurance claims. We don’t get paid until you get paid, and there are no hidden fees. Consultations are always free and are no obligation to hire us, so there is never a risk to giving us a call about your insurance claim!