basic question about condo insurance?

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      Anonymous
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      i have a condo insurance and there was a water stain in the ceiling. this is the first time i filed a claim in my life with any insurance company. they told me i have $ 500 deductible and they got an estimate cost to fix it which is to paint the ceiling will be $ 900. so i will be getting a check from them for $ 400. now a couple of questions:

      1. do i need to hire a painter to fix the ceiling and then send the proof of payment to my insurance company that i have spend their $ 400? or basically, i can do with whatever i want with the $ 400 ( either put in in my saving account or use that money to fix my ceiling)?

      2. if i cash the $ 400 check with my insurance company, does that mean that i accept that amount or can i negotiate with them for a higher amount?

      3. will my insurance rate go up from this? this is my first filing ever and i had insurance from them for about 5 years now.

      thx in advance.

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