Home Insurance Claim vs Do-It-Yourself

Posted on July 7, 2021

In Canada, insurance claims, including homeowner’s claims, have risen over the past decade. In some cases, homeowners opt to file their claim and fix the damage themselves. The real question, however, is if this is allowed and what happens in the aftermath.

When filing a home insurance claim your insurer needs to know the details of the damage done to your home. This will give them a better understanding of what needs to be done and whether a professional should step in. Once proper contact and determinations have been made, you can decide whether to reach out to help or fix the issues yourself.

For many homeowners, working with an unknown repair company is off-putting. This leaves them filing to receive their home insurance claims settlement money. After receiving their claim money, homeowners then hire the contractors of their choice.

Other homeowners prefer avoiding repairmen and contractors altogether. In these instances, property owners find themselves becoming their own repairmen and deal with issues on their own. The real question is, which option is best suited for you?

Which Is Better?

Many people have hidden talents when it comes to fixing things around the house. If you have a background in carpentry or roofing you may prefer to get your hands dirty. If so, ask yourself, do I make a home insurance claim or do I repair the damages out of pocket. 

One of the advantages of filing a home insurance claim is the avoidance of out-of-pocket expenses. Your insurance company will help cover the costs of materials, cleanup, and labour if you choose to work with a contractor. This route is great for those who don’t have additional funds on hand when home repairs are needed.

If you have the spare funds and feel the job is something you can easily fix, by all means, go for it. Keep in mind, when you avoid a claim and start repairs yourself, you're on your own. Some insurance companies refuse to step in and assist in these types of situations. 

Taking on a project yourself leaves you responsible for ensuring the damages are not only taken care of properly but everything is paid for in a timely fashion. Once you start, if you can’t complete the work, you’ll be responsible for hiring and paying a contractor to finish the job.

The DIY route also leaves you open to issues with your mortgage company if they have requirements for prompt repairs in the paperwork. Always read the fine print of your mortgage agreement so you know exactly what is expected.

Do You Have to File A Claim?

The answer to whether you should file claims for home insurance relies heavily on the damages caused. Small issues may not meet your insurance’s deductible. For bigger, more expensive repairs, your insurance company can be your best ally.

Weather-related damages such as broken windows or mangled roofs can be quite expensive to repair. Reaching out to your insurance provider for assistance can alleviate the financial burden on you and your family while getting things done quickly. Major damage is something both insurance providers and homeowners prefer to have repaired as soon as possible.

Big repairs can also leave you needing to seek shelter outside of your home until the problem is fixed. Some insurance companies may provide compensation for hotel rental fees during these situations. When major damage occurs, reaching out to your coverage provider is always a smart move.

For smaller problems such as a few missing shingles or loose shutters from wind damage, you may find it better for all parties involved to take the DIY approach in the matter. This will save points against your insurance and allow you to remedy the situation without waiting on accessors or repairmen.

Fixing the small things around the house is also a great way to feel more connected to the place you call home. Many homeowners love the idea of showing their friends the repairs they’ve done on their own. A DIY project can be quite fulfilling when done properly.

Can You Keep Home Insurance Claim Money Even If You Fix the Damage?

If you choose, you can simply take a home insurance claim cash settlement. In this process, your insurance provider will provide you with the estimated costs of repairs and leave it in your hands to hire the company you prefer to do the needed repairs.

In these situations, you may find a more affordable contractor who receives better material costs than others in the sector. Can you keep home insurance claim money when some is leftover? In most instances, the answer is yes unless otherwise stated by your provider in your contract.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that filing a home insurance claim then spending the money instead of fixing the issue is frowned upon. This can also keep you from filing other insurance claims in the future. Keeping it honest with your home insurance provider is key to a great working relationship.

Does Your Mortgage Lender Have A Say in the Matter?

Yes, of course, your mortgage lender has a say in matters concerning your home. By providing you with the money needed to purchase your home they expect to be kept in the loop. Often, your mortgage company and insurance provider work hand in hand. For many homeowners, this is a great thing.

Many mortgage lenders have strict guidelines when it comes to the appearance and upkeep of the property. More often than not, for large-scale damage, they want a home insurance claim made to ensure proper materials are used in the construction process and the home is brought back to its original splendour promptly.

Using cheaper materials than originally used in the construction of a home can decrease its value. In some instances, this can even lead to more repair issues down the road. This is why knowing the expectations of your mortgage provider when it comes to home insurance claims is important.

Mortgage companies lose money if large-scale damages aren’t rectified as they should be. If you make a home insurance claim and receive money, everyone involved expects damages to be taken care of. Spending the money on something else while leaving your home in dire straits is fraudulent behaviour and could be the reason for the termination of your mortgage contract and insurance policy.

For some homeowners, their insurance is provided along with their mortgage. In these situations, it is more prudent to provide your lender with information when it comes to damages and repairs. By working closely together with the team you have behind you can get your home on the right path and suitable for you and your family.

Finding the Right Home Insurance Provider

A great insurance provider should be someone you trust completely when it comes to what’s best for your home. When choosing the right insurance provider to work with, keep your needs and expectations in mind. Also, check references and reviews online for a bit of insight from those who have worked with these companies in the past.

Here at Insurdinary, we offer the resources needed to help you make the best decision for both you and your home. By taking a look at our blog or checking out our website you will learn about some of the best home insurance providers and coverages available. We make it easy to compare rates, coverages, and learn more about home insurance claims and how they work. Get a quote today!

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