What to Know Before You Accept a Home Insurance Check

Closing out the home insurance claim process by taking the necessary steps to get your home insurance claim check is always a relief. While it is nice to get your home insurance check, it's very important to look out for certain things beforehand.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: May 5, 2022

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Closing out the home insurance claim process by taking the necessary steps to get your home insurance claim check is always a relief. While it is nice to get your home insurance check, do not rush to the finish line. Before you sign any claim release waivers, make sure your property insurance claim settlement covers all your damages!

What are some tips on accepting an insurance claim check?

Being patient is the most important thing throughout the house insurance claims process. Even when the end is in sight, take your time and make sure you are getting the appropriate value to repay your loss.

Before you accept a home insurance settlement from the insurance provider, be sure that any amount paid to you in the home insurance check will cover all of your repairs. Go over your losses, read your policy, and make sure the company is paying you appropriately. It is also important to make sure your house insurance check covers any contractor bills. If your contractor is charging more for repairs of property damage than your company will pay, ask the insurance adjuster to talk directly with the contractor to determine what the differences are between the two estimates. Try to work out any home insurance settlement or estimate discrepancies before you start to repair anything. This will ensure that you will have enough money to complete and pay for the damage repair works without running short.

If you are concerned about what to know before you accept a home insurance check, you should look for insurance help. If you’re not satisfied with an insurance company’s offer, you have the right to take legal action. Hiring an attorney and threatening to file an insurance claim check lawsuit can sometimes be enough to convince an insurance company into extending a reasonable settlement.

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What should I know about home insurance settlement checks and my lender?

Depending on the amount of the damage, the insurer may pay you directly or include your lender as an additional payee on the check (if you have a mortgage on your home). If you find your home insurance check has both you and your lender listed as a payee, contact your lender right away, and ask how to go about getting the initial claim check endorsement from them.

Brace yourself!

The home insurance claims process for each lender can be confusing, requiring documents that your contractor must fill out (W-9, repair affidavits, lien waivers) and depending on the amount of your check, your lender may hold the funds in a restricted escrow, issuing payment to your contractor only upon completion of the work. This is all done to protect the lender’s financial interest in the property.

Once the repair work is completed, the lender will have a home insurance inspection of their own performed to verify the completion of the work. Only then will they issue the home insurance check from your restricted escrow to pay the contractors for the repair of covered damages.

TIP: Make sure you completely understand the mortgage company’s policies upfront to avoid delays. Ask your contractor to fill out the paperwork as soon as possible. Above all, make yourself available on all home inspections. This will ensure timely payments.

If the work is done and it comes under budget for the repair, you are sent the remainder. The mortgage company cannot keep the proceeds of a settlement to cover your loan balance.

How do you file for a supplemental home insurance check?

If, while working through your repair, your contractor discovers hidden damage that could not be seen during your home insurance inspection, you will need to request a supplemental home insurance check for the additional damage. Notify your insurance adjuster that there was additional damage that was found related to this claim. They may do another home insurance inspection to review the additional damage or they may ask that you have the contractor write up a supplemental estimate for the work. Once the additional information is reviewed and the estimates seem in line, you will be issued a supplemental home insurance check for the additional damage.

If by chance your claim was a home insurance liability claim where you were the injured party or your property was damaged by the homeowner, obtaining a supplemental home insurance check may be a little more involved. Follow the same steps above by letting the insurer know as soon as possible that you have additional damage or medical bills that need to be considered under the claim. They again may request a home insurance inspection. In the case of injury, they may request additional medical records or copies of the bills.

If you have already accepted the home insurance settlement and provided a signed waiver of release to the insurance company as well as cashed the homeowners insurance settlement check, you may be out of luck. It is imperative to read carefully and understand all the language in any release form before signing or cashing your home insurance claim check. If you are ever unclear on what you are signing, it is best to seek the advice of an expert attorney that can guide you on whether to sign a release or wait. Never sign a release if you are still under the care of a doctor or still taking medication for your injuries. If your injury should get worst, you have no recourse. If you have any homeowners insurance claim check questions, feel like your insurance provider is not paying you fair value, or need additional insurance money to repair damages or for injuries not previously discovered, you can have an attorney review your case.

According to insurance check cashing laws, if your insurer gives you a check for covered repairs, state law may prevent you from getting the money for several days. If you have a mortgage, your lender may have to endorse the check before you can cash it because the home belongs to them until you completely pay off your mortgage.

How long does it take to get a check from homeowners insurance?

Based on the state law and the state you live in, insurance companies may take up to several business days or even several months to issue a home insurance paycheck after filing a home insurance claim. Some states require insurance companies to pay in a reasonable amount of time, whereas others allow insurers up to 40 days to accept or deny your home insurance claim.

Most often, each insurer will have a deadline by which you must claim your loss and submit a home insurance claim. You can clear this up with your insurance claims adjuster, in order to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and lose money. So ask about what procedures the insurance company takes and follow up regularly to make sure they have all the info they need.

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