So something has just happened to your home, and you need to file an insurance claim. It doesn't matter what. It could be fire damage, it could be water damage, or a tornado could have ripped through your living room while you were watching reruns of Doctor Who. Regardless, you need to get it taken care of, but once you called in your claim, something happened that was comparable to the disaster that preceded your claim: a whirlwind of confusion.
The first thing that you might have noticed is all the people that are involved in your claim. First of all, you have the insurance agent who sold you the policy in the first place. This will be the person who represents the company. You also have the insurance adjuster, which is the person who has been assigned to review and approve repairs according to the coverage that you have.
If you have a mortgage, then your mortgage company will more than likely be there to make sure that your property is restored, as they have a vested interested in its future stability. There is also a restoration contractor, and this person is extremely important. Basically, the restoration contractor exists to make sure that your home is restored, and that it is restored within the insurance company's guidelines. There are certain contractors that you should hire for this, as not every single contractor is well versed in insurance related repairs.
There are some insurance companies that might require you to get multiple estimates for your property damage. Why exactly? If your policy states that you need to, it's simply so both you and the insurance company can get the best price. Many insurance companies however already know the best price and they probably have a contractor in mind for you. With some companies, you luck out in this area and can simply make one call to take care of the entire claim.
One thing that you may have to deal with in your claim is property depreciation. This is a rather unfortunate fact of life, and it happens because property values can decrease over time. Whether it is because of use, or because the facilities within the house aren't up to date. This can adversely affect the payout you receive from your insurance companies in some cases. That's not to say that this is always the case, and you may in fact find that your home is at its full value at the time of the incident.
It's not easy, having to deal with an insurance claim. In fact, it can get very confusing for someone who is not 'in the know'. If you have any complex questions however, you can always speak to your insurance provider and they will more than likely be quite happy to provide you with the information that you need. Failing that, and if your claim is likely to be quite large, you might want to approach a claims assessor. They will ensure that you receive every penny that you deserve, not allowing insurance companies to hide behind small print - plus they are often useful for impartial advice and information on your claim.
So learn all you can, and make sure you're up with the latest real estate terms. In the end, it should all work out for you.