What to expect from your insurance company

After the claim is filed, know how you'll be paid

Published On: Oct 26 2011 04:48:33 PM EDT   Updated On: May 29 2013 02:19:15 PM EDT

The first check you get from your insurance company is often an advance, not a final payment. If you're offered an on-the-spot settlement, you can accept the check right away. Later on, if you find other damage, you can "reopen" the claim and file for an additional amount. Most policies require claims to be filed within one year from the date of disaster. When both the structure of your home and your personal belongings are damaged, you generally get two separate checks from your insurance company. You should also receive a separate check for additional living expenses.