In case your home has suffered storm damage, the first thoughts you should have as far as damage control is concerned should be physical: leaks, the broken glass, as well as the general clean-up. Remember that it is essential to pursue an insurance claim as part of controlling damage. Taking an intelligent and active role in this process can also bring a big change in the settlement which you receive.
These are some basic tips to observe:
• You should not delay. The insurance companies will put in place some time limit for filing a claim.
• Mostly, insurance companies won’t raise the individual’s rates as a result of storm damage.
• Ensure that you hire the best contractor there is as opposed to going for the cheapest one.
• Ensure to look for “approved” contractors in an insurance company.
• You and your agent should review your coverage earlier in order to ensure that you comprehend your rights
Keep in mind that insurance companies are there for profit making purposes. The companies might attempt to deny you a claim. You must therefore be a very strong advocate for yourself. These are the steps to follow when filing an insurance claim:
1. Make an assessment of your storm damage. You should note down the date the storm occurred as well as the visible damage from the ground. You should also take photos of any damage. Carry out an online search for news stories concerning the storm that is hitting your location in order to have evidence in case it’s required.
2. Contact various storm repair contractors who are reputable & obtain 3 written proposals. Ensure that the contractor you choose performs a complete inspection for your property, including the siding, roof, AC units, concrete, windows, screens and any other exterior surface.
3. Read the insurance policy well and later get in touch with the claims department in your insurance company immediately. You should have pictures as well as an estimate from your chosen contractor.
4. Request for an inspection of the insurance adjuster. Ensure that your contractor is there during the insurance adjuster inspection. The contractor’s job is ensuring that the adjuster plays fairly, and gives you a fair assessment. Keep in mind that the adjuster is hired by the insurance company where they might have an incentive of denying your claim when they wish to.
5. In case the claim is denied, you should not worry. One can meet with 3 insurance adjusters. Keep in mind that, despite the damage being small, it should yield an approved claim. Whatever kind of damage is capable of devaluing your home and it should therefore be fixed the soonest possible before causing a greater mess.
6. After your claim has been approved, the insurance company is going to send you 2 different payments. The first one covers the materials cost. Ensure that your contractor orders the materials using your name and also uses your check when making payments for the materials.
7. After delivering your materials, the contractor is going to get to work. Whatever changes to your written bid must be submitted in writing form for approval. No extra payment is due till every repair is complete. Once the project has passed the city inspection, you get a chance of approving the job prior to making the final payment. Ensure the job has been done in a manner that leaves you satisfied.
In a storm damage claim, it’s always going to be you vs your insurance provider. There are a lot of details you may not be aware of that could work against you. At Prosperity Public Adjusters, we are on our clients side and aim to get our them the maximum they are legally due from their policy.
For a consultation contact us today at (561) 452-6332