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West Virginia, fondly called the Mountain State, has an abundance of natural beauty to offer, allowing its residents and visitors alike to enjoy numerous outdoor activities. Whether you’re in love with hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, skiing or whitewater rafting, you can enjoy all of these, year-round. And with the state boasting of a huge amount and array of natural resources, there’s no need to wonder why West Virginia made it to the list of top energy-producing states, as Livability reports.

Because WV has a lot of great locales and cities to live in, such as Beckley, Fairmount, Clarksburg, Huntington, and Parkersburg among many others, it follows that it has a high percentage of owned homes: 73%. And almost all of these individuals religiously maintain their West Virginia homeowners insurance, as you should when you become one of the state’s proud home owners. A major aspect of this insurance you should familiarize yourself with is the claims filing process.

A 101 on homeowners insurance claims

It’s important to have a basic understanding of the definition and coverage of claims so one can determine whether or not one can file a claim and expect the insurer to settle.

Many of the most common questions people ask when it comes to homeowners insurance have a lot to do with “claims.” It’s important you have a basic understanding of the definition and coverage of claims, so that you can determine whether or not you can file for one and expect your insurer to settle with you. Always keep in mind that a homeowners insurance policy has exclusions, and the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner names a lot of it.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners define this as the request a policy holder makes for payment remittance when a peril named and covered in the policy causes property damage or loss.

In other words, you can make a claim after an incident your policy covers happens and results in your house and/or its contents sustaining damages or you losing anything your insurance covers.

Determining what you have coverage for

Homeowners insurance, in a nutshell, protects the insured individuals, their place of residence, and their named personal property and belongings (the contents of the dwelling). However, as mentioned above, it has limitations and exclusions. This is why you should read your policy and have a better understanding of it. Doing so will allow you to determine which types of losses you can file claims for and what perils your insurance form doesn’t cover.

Also keep in mind that in West Virginia, the specific types of perils covered largely depends on the kind of homeowners insurance form a policy holder has. For instance, having the Dwelling Fire Form means having coverage for just the building itself. The Special Form, on the other hand, covers both the dwelling and its named contents.  

Filing a claim: The process you should follow

You should contact your insurer as soon as you can when the need for filing a claim arises. Make sure you obtain all the details about the requirements so that you can furnish them all and hasten the settlement process. In the event of property damage, your insurance company will require you to perform steps aimed at mitigating any other potential losses.

What to expect next

Your insurance provider will then have a claims adjuster conduct an assessment of the property/properties you wish to file a claim for. Cooperation during the investigation will speed up things, so make sure you’re ready to answer questions related to the incident that led to the filing of the claim.

Final reminders

Filing a claim doesn’t have to be extremely difficult. As long as you follow the above-mentioned rules as well as strategies, you don’t have to wait for such a long time for your insurer to settle with you.

References:

http://www.wvinsurance.gov/Portals/0/pdf/Ins_Brochures/Home%20broch.inside.pdf

http://www.wvinsurance.gov/consumerservices/HomeFAQs.aspx

http://www.naic.org/consumer_glossary.htm#C