How to Spend Your Home Insurance Claims Check

Much has been written about the fact that the Chinese symbol for crisis is also the symbol for opportunity. If you’re a homeowner who’s recently suffered damage to your home, all the shock and chaos may make you forget that a big check from your home insurance provider is on the way – and you can spend it as you see fit. Whether you get a lump-sum payout, an advance payment, or a partial payment contingent on different conditions, the bottom line is that you’re getting money and a blank slate. When those two things come together it can be a very exciting time indeed.

The Claims Adjuster

The first thing you’re going to do is call your claims adjuster. They will inspect the damage and help you fill out all relevant claims forms. It may be tedious, but it’s the first step on the road to getting reimbursed. Additionally, take lots of pictures and make sure to save all estimates and assessments.

The Attitude Adjuster

When your home insurance provider helps you it means they’re going to give you money. In your situation, now is the time to start forgetting your misfortune and remembering your opportunities. Sure your living room is gone, but you’ve also got the chance to turn what was once a den of dullness into a showcase for your excellent taste. You can put in a bay window with a reading nook. You can put in hardwood floors, or floor-to-ceiling windows, or a new fireplace. Was your old carpet looking more and more like an old, miserable sponge? Rip it out and put down hardwood. Or maybe you want tile, but you can’t decide between rich, red Mexican terra cotta or grey slate.

Taking Savings to the Next Level

If you’re smart, you can also save on clean-up and repair costs – which the insurance company has covered – by doing it yourself. With that extra money you can either apply it to further home improvements that improve the resale quality of your home or save for a rainy day. Cedar closets or new kitchen appliances, the choice is yours. Of course, spending your home insurance reimbursement check in a frugal way is also a smart choice: by keeping costs low and coming in under budget, you can pocket the difference. At the end of the day, that money could provide you with all sorts of new opportunities.

If you’re a homeowner you must have home insurance, period. Your investment is too large to go unprotected. Once you’re insured, make sure you understand what is or is not covered. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the policy, don’t be afraid to ask.