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Your home insurance company might want to inspect your property before issuing a policy or while processing a claim. But that doesn't mean company representatives can barge in anytime they please.

After you file a claim, a home insurance company typically sends out an appraiser on its behalf to assess the damage and determine if the property is eligible for coverage. Usually the company will contact you beforehand to schedule an appointment and to discuss the damage.

Oftentimes a home insurance company will want to inspect the home before issuing a policy because just looking at the property from the outside doesn't provide complete information. But company representative must have your permission; they aren't allowed to trespass.

You can refuse an inspection by an insurance company, but that might not be in your best interests. The insurance company might deny your claim, or at the very least take longer to process it. Insurance policies include a "duty of the insured to cooperate" clause, and buying the policy implies you agree to abide by it, which would include allowing the insurer to see the inside of your house. Keep in mind that if you're applying for coverage, the company probably won't write the policy if you refuse to have your property inspected.

Although you can refuse permission to enter your home, you can't prevent insurance adjusters from viewing your property from a public area, such as a street or sidewalk.

For more, see Can insurance companies enter your house or examine your car?