Filing a Property Damage Insurance Claim
Witnessing the damage caused to your property by a storm or other event can be devastating. Hopefully, you have adequate insurance in place to protect your property and investment and to help put you back into the position you were in prior to the storm. As you begin the process of placing your claim with your insurance company, the following tips may be helpful:
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. There should be a toll-free claims number on your policy. Most companies require you to notify them in writing, so follow up with a written notice with information about what happened.
Review your policy. Make sure you understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. If you’re not sure, ask your agent or the company to explain. You may find that speaking to a qualified insurance claim attorney may be helpful as he or she may be able to better explain the coverages available under your policy.
Have your policy number ready when you call your company. Also, be prepared to answer questions about the damage.
Take pictures or videotape the damaged area. It is important to document any damaged property before you make any repairs. This is especially important if you make repairs before your insurance adjuster has seen the damage.
Don’t throw anything away. Do not discard any damaged property or remove it from the house until your insurance adjuster has seen it. If the insurance adjuster cannot verify the damage, you may have a harder time obtaining coverage for the repair of that property.
Make reasonable repairs. If your property needs some immediate repairs, perform these repairs in order to protect your home and property from more damage, but don’t make large structural or permanent repairs until your company says it’s OK.
Write down everything you spend on repairs and keep the receipts.
Keep a written log. List everyone you speak with at your insurance company. Note the time, date, name of the person, and what you talked about. Keep copies of letters or other documents you and your company send each other.
Get Help from a Professional! After a catastrophic loss, you will not be in the best frame of mind to handle this situation. The insurance company knows this and – since it is not their first insurance loss – the company may use this advantage against you. Also, unless you are a property damage expert, you may not be able to ascertain the full extent of your loss.
The pursuit of a recovery against your insurance company is too important to not involve an experienced property insurance claim attorney. Our firm offers free consultations and represents clients on a contingency fee basis. Contact us at (888) 898-5297.