Insurance Company Taking Pictures of Your Home? Here's Why

 

Home insurance was created to protect you financially from all kinds of potential damage and liability at home. A mutual home insurance company, like NNINS, must pool risk from individual payers and redistribute it across a larger portfolio, pricing risk and charging a proper premium for assuming it. Risk mitigation is an important part of that pricing and planning for future payout to cover members' claims. This process or a home insurance claim can require a home insurance carrier to perform an inspection and take pictures of your home. Your participation in the process can help ensure you have adequate coverage for different risks. Let’s take a look at the different types of circumstances when your insurance company may need to take pictures of your property.

Common Insurance Hazards

Pictures can provide more information and confirm a property's expected condition or a hazard. A claim for new property damage is the most common reason an insurance provider will send an adjuster to your home to take pictures. These pictures support his or her findings and provide important information for an estimate of repairs. Other instances that may call for an inspection and pictures are when you get a new policy, your carrier has concerns about new hazards, you’ve just bought a new house if you’re switching carriers, or there simply aren’t any current pictures available of your property. 

Arbortist cutting large branch

Here are common home insurance hazards:

  • Trees on your property with long, heavy branches hanging over your roof that concern your provider. 
  • Your home deck may have missing railings, rotting wood, or other safety concerns.
  • Your home has maintenance issues such as neglected gutters or home heating fire hazards.
  • A newly added pool, trampoline, or other play equipment
  • Weather-related water damage from heavy rain or snow or non-weather related-water damage from leaking or burst pipes and malfunctioning appliances. 
  • Your home has signs of visible wear and tear or decay, like an aging roof, stucco damage, or missing siding.
  • Your home is very old or has unique construction elements or recently had a major renovation.

damaged shingles on roof


Avoiding Claims and Lawsuits

Your home insurance claims history can also trigger the need for pictures of your home, especially if you have experienced multiple claims in a short period of time. That also may include an interior inspection to identify pre-existing issues. 

Although you can’t completely prevent home claims from things like wind and hail, you can take steps to prevent major damage, like removing dead trees and branches, storing patio furniture, and other things on your property that might be blown into your house. Lock and reinforce your doors and windows, especially, and keep your roof in good shape.

Protect your home and car from theft by keeping your doors, windows, and garages locked at all times and making sure your property is well-lit at night, especially when you travel. A home security system may be a good idea if you live in a high-crime area.

burglar stealing jewelry in home

To prevent home fire claims, install smoke detectors and use flameless candles whenever possible.  Keep your kitchen clear of clutter, especially around your stove, toaster oven, and microwave. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year, and dispose of ashes outdoors in a fireproof container. Get your electrical wiring inspected for flaws, especially if you live in an older home. Avoid using frayed or exposed wires and don’t overload power outlets.

PowerStripOverload

Home insurance liability claims most often come from accidents, slips and falls, and dog bites. To prevent a slip and fall claim, keep your sidewalk, driveway, porches, patios, and stairwells free of tripping hazards, rotting wood, and exposed nails. Ensure your insurance carrier knows you have a new pool, trampoline, or play equipment, and always monitor and follow all safety protocols. Keep your pet leashed outside and watch them closely around small children to prevent dog bites. Also, be sure your home insurance carrier covers your dog’s breed.

Girlanddogs

 

How to Take Pictures for an Insurance Company

If you are asked to provide pictures to your insurance carrier for a claim, be sure to include all angles and aspects of your damaged property and include complete corners of your house or interior room. Keep the sun will be behind you so that it shines onto the subject of your photo, and use a table or wall for extra stability. Zoom in on any property damage. This is a great opportunity to complete a home inventory as well! 

Just remember, we never want anyone to attempt to take photographs if there’s any risk to anyone's health or safety. Call necessary emergency responders, report your claim, and leave the rest to your adjuster.

 Learn more about homeowners insurance in Virginia 

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