Haevy rain wih leaking drain in the garden

You come home one night after a strong thunderstorm and aren’t thinking at all about the weather. That changes when you hear water in your basement upon entering. The sump pump didn’t turn on, and now you have water damage.

It’s probably not what you wanted to come home to, but there’s no need to panic. After all, this is what your homeowners insurance is for. We’re here to walk you through the claim process so you’re prepared to get your home back to normal as soon as possible. Finally, we’ll go over what to expect when your claim is taken care of.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Jason Blevins is a leader on the insurance loss team at Quicken Loans. He says it’s not wise to jump in and immediately start repairing things.

“The first thing you should do when you have any kind of damage to your property is you should contact your insurance provider,” he said. “Give them in-depth information on what exactly happened to your home.”

Let them tell you what to do next. In situations where the damage is likely to worsen without immediate mitigation measures (e.g., a flood or fire), the insurance company will likely tell you to call someone out to take care of it. If this is the case, keep the invoices so you can be reimbursed later on.

It’s really important to listen to your insurance company throughout the process. Not doing so could jeopardize your compensation.

If the damage isn’t likely to get worse, the insurance company will next give you a timeframe for sending an adjuster out.

Damage Evaluation

The first thing your insurance company really needs to do is send an insurance adjuster out to evaluate the damage. They’ll send an itemized list of repairs and the cost of the fix back to the insurance company.

At this point, you may be tempted to hire a public insurance adjuster. After all, the adjuster that was sent out works for the insurance company, so would they really have your best interests in mind?

Blevins doesn’t recommend going this route unless you have a serious dispute and think the insurance company’s adjuster has missed something in evaluating the damages. The reason for this is that a public insurance adjuster gets paid by taking a percentage of your insurance settlement, and you could actually end up getting less after the fee is paid.

The Repair Process

The adjuster has seen the damage, and maybe you even have the check from the insurance company. Now’s the time to strap on the tool belt, right? Unless you’re Bob Vila, the answer is probably no.

In addition to the fact that home repair is a major pain in the neck for most people, Blevins points out another big reason to leave this to the pros:

“Something I would strongly suggest is letting [the insurance company] select the contractor instead of doing the work themselves,” he says. “If you do it through a contractor, your insurance company will sometimes guarantee the work for a certain amount of years, whereas if you do it yourself, they won’t guarantee it.”

You may be confident in your ability to do the work at a high level of quality. However, the fact that the contractor is licensed is a big guarantee for you and your insurance company that the work will be done correctly.

Home Inspection

Depending on the amount of the claim, your mortgage lender may schedule a home inspection. The inspector uses a copy of the adjuster’s report given to the lender as a checklist. This is done for a couple of reasons.

An inspection protects you against work that’s done in a substandard manner. Depending on the size of the claim and the status of your loan, multiple inspections could take place throughout the repair process.

“Inspections from the mortgage company are only to help to make sure that the repairs are up to par and that they don’t see anything that could cause further damage down the road,” Blevins adds. “Inspectors are there to make sure the home is being repaired to the same, if not better than, before the claim.”

The second reason is that the mortgage company has a responsibility to protect its investment and make sure the house will continue to hold its value. This is important to investors in your mortgage, like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For this reason, your lender may be listed on the checks from the homeowners insurance company and, if so, will need to endorse them. If the work is done in stages with multiple inspections, lenders may give the funds back to you in disbursements rather than all at once.

What to Expect After Your Claim

Depending on the nature and cost of repairing your claim, there’s a possibility that your homeowners insurance costs could go up when the dust settles.

It may not be fun, but your home’s history has an effect on your insurance premiums. It’s not a guarantee that the price of your insurance will go up after a claim, but it’s something you should be prepared for.

For more information on what affects your insurance costs, we’ve put together a list of factors that can drive your premiums up.

I hope you don’t have to put in a homeowners claim anytime soon, but if you do, now you’re prepared. If you have any questions, leave them for us in the comments.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Please provide me with the correct mailing address for Quicken Loan Mortgage, inc, , Department of Loss & Claims . I have a two-signature check that requires the signature of Quicken Loans Mortgage and me; sending first to QL. When check is signed off and
    returned to my mailing address I will be able to deposit the check … These instructions were provided by The Travelers Insurance Company — please follow up with the needed address to process this claim settlement.

    1. Hi Alma:

      Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve hidden your other comment so your personal information isn’t public. I’m going to have someone reach out to you about this as soon as possible in the morning.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  2. My bank took the check the insurance comp issue to repsir my home and they would not release it to me to psy people’s did eork to repsir my work from damages and still have work to be done , they kept the whole amount and i,m going to be suid by not psying to contractors, i had line of credit with the bank and always paid my bills on time and know they would not release my payment from the insurance comp to pay other. What i should do, even now we have another huragaine and i may have more dameges. Please helpwould i need atterney

    1. Hi Ada:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re in the hurricane zone right now. You’re in our thoughts. That’s a difficult situation.

      Usually, what happens with major homeowners insurance claims is that your mortgage company has to verify the home is going to be worth as much as it was when it was damaged. With that in mind, they sometimes have the work completed in stages and have multiple appraisals done. The check isn’t released until the work on the first stage is completed to their satisfaction. I would talk to the lender and see why they won’t release the check, but that’s my guess. There has to be a reappraisal.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  3. I had some storm damage to my home. I should get a check this week that I need endorsed.Can you please reach out to me and let me know the process.

    1. Hi Jeff:

      I’m going to get this over to our Client Relations team and have someone reach out so we can get that rebuild process going for you. Someone should be reaching out soon.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  4. I am experiencing similar difficulties with getting a check for home improvement. Its great that Kevin Graham answered these complaints, but When are you going to do something about it? Apologies are great, but do nothing.

    1. Hi Pat:

      Our Client Relations team does work very hard to resolve each and every client issue that comes our way. With that being said, because of the nature of client issues, we don’t comment publicly on the resolution in order to protect the privacy of our clients. I’m going to forward this to the team to look into this for you and get things turned around.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  5. Filed a claim on damage to our house…supposed to send the check to quicken to have it endorsed…can’t seem to find a phone number to call on your website….seems strange that except for this email box, there is no very clear phone number to call,,,,,!!!!!!
    Help!

    1. Hi Steve:

      Thanks for reaching out! I’m going to pass this along to our client relations team to have someone reach out to you directly about this. That being said, in the future, feel free to call (800) 863-4332. We’d be happy to take care of you.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  6. I had damage to our home. I had an insurance adjuster do inspection. I have a check that needs to be endorsed so that I can start repairs. I have been trying for one week to get someone from quicken loans to tell me how to get the check endorsed. After many hours on hold and waiting for someone from insurance department team to call me back. I am frustrated. Previous interactions with your company had been positive. However this is making me rethink our decision to go with quicken loans, and I will find it difficult to recommend your company in the future. Please email instructions so that we can make direct contact with someone who can actually explain your process.

    1. Hi Chad:

      I’m very sorry you’re having this experience with us. I’m going to make sure we get someone in contact with you about your home insurance check so that we can get things back to normal for you as quickly as possible. Thanks for making us aware of this and giving us the opportunity to turn it around.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  7. If you file an insurance claim due to Hurricane Matthew, and paid our deductible, can you deduct your insurance deductible paid on your income taxes?

    1. Hi David:

      With tax questions, we really recommend going to a professional accountant or tax preparer because everyone’s situation is different.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

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