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Can I do the repairs myself after I filed a homeowners insurance claim?

Filing Home Insurance Claim: Doing The Work Yourself

Even if your home insurance can help cut the costs of repairs and replacements for the damages happened in your home, it can still be very expensive. You might be planning to file an insurance claim and do the repairs by yourself to save money rather than hiring a third-party repair company; however, can you really save up and are you allowed to do all the work by yourself?

There’s no guarantee that you’ll save money when you make a claim and do the repairs yourself, and if you aren’t licensed to do such repairs and it didn’t go as well as you’ve planned it to be, you will be responsible for the costs. When this happens, you will pay more instead. Make sure that you understand your own policy and how the claim works in your insurance company because each situation is different and each claiming process is complicated.

Typically, you can complete your own repairs

In some cases, the insurance company will calculate the costs and will pay you the exact amount you need for restoration. Once these calculations are done, they will either send you a check with the exact amount or pay the chosen contractor who will do the repairs in your home. It’s up to you to decide whether you will do the repairs by yourself or hire a contractor.

On the other hand, some providers don’t allow homeowners to do the home insurance repairs on their own since they will be the one to decide when and how much they will pay for the damages and repairs. They might allow you to do the repairs; however, they will provide strict supervision depending on the complexity and severity of your home’s damage. You should also check and follow all the terms stated in your home insurance policy about how repairs should be handled.

You might be required to show receipts for materials and labor on repairs, and that excess money should be returned to the insurer. You will be in legal trouble if you try to deceive your insurance company so make sure to use all the money on repairs and follow what’s in your home insurance policy.

Things that you should consider first

Before you start messing with your policy, you should be aware of the restrictions and take it into account. Here are some of the things that you should consider first:

Legality

Is it legal for you to do the repairs on your own? You should check if the law in your state allows homeowners to do the repairs on their own, considering how serious the damage is. In some cases, state laws may require homeowners to get a permit or a license is needed in order to proceed with the repairs.

For instance, your city requires that all plumbing work should be done by a professional plumber. You will not be allowed to do the plumbing work by yourself if you’re not a professional plumber. Check with your development services or local department buildings to see what are the requirements that you need for them to allow you.

Get permission from your mortgage lender

It may be a good idea to have a conversation with your mortgage lender before proceeding with repairs if your home has a mortgage. Since they still own the house where you live, they will be the one to decide whether they will let you do the repairs or they will hire a contractor. The possibility of your lenders to permit you to do the home insurance repairs is very small because it’s still their investment and they don’t want it to have more damage. Other than that, they will be the one named on your insurance claim checks since it’s a common clause in mortgage contracts.

They want to keep your house in good condition until you’ve paid off all of your mortgages because there are some cases where homeowners default on their mortgage. Once the repairs are completed, the bank will put the money in escrow and use it to pay the hired contractors directly. Since they control the money, they won’t really allow you to do the repairs. Check with your lender if they allow self-repairs.

Repairs are complicated

People might think that home repairs are easy to do. What they don’t realize is that it’s very complicated. Don’t underestimate the number of repairs that need to be completed because your insurance company might provide a smaller amount of money than you deserve or need for repairs. After damages and significant losses in your home, get an independent assessment or hire professionals instead.

Future claims will be sacrificed

Your insurance company will assume that your home will be restored to its pre-loss condition after giving you the funds needed for repairs, so if you don’t fix the damages correctly, then your future home insurance claims will be sacrificed. If you need to make another insurance claim, your insurer might avoid covering it and you might pay higher home insurance premiums if this happens.

Final Thoughts: Is it a good idea to do it yourself?

Before committing to self-repair, you may want to consider the things stated above and think if it’s really worth it to do the job on your own. Is it worth your time? Is it worth your effort? Can it help you save money rather than hiring professionals? Ask these questions and evaluate yourself. Other than that, you may also consider your safety as repairing a home without having enough knowledge on how to perform each task is dangerous and can cause accidents and injuries, so it’s better to hire professionals than doing it on your own.

However, if you’re a professional and licensed contractor or have moderate to expert experience in renovations and repairs, you might be able to perform each task with ease and it will be an advantage because you don’t need to hire professionals. Your insurance company and the state law will permit you to do the job on your own home as well if you’re a professional in the field.

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