Has your home suffered storm damage?
According to reports, last year saw $1.1 billion in insured losses from winter storms alone.
No matter what type of storm damage has affected your home, one of the first steps to think about is your insurance claim.
If you don’t follow the right process, you might experience problems and delays with your insurance company. Not only can this be very stressful, but it can also prolong repairs on your home.
Keep reading to find out the top homeowner’s insurance claims tips to follow for an easy claims process.
One of the most important homeowners insurance claims tips is to photograph and document everything related to your claim.
The more evidence you can get the better. Therefore, make sure you photograph all areas of damage to your home. If contents within your home have been damaged, you should photograph these too.
This might include damaged:
- Furniture carpets and rugs
When it comes to things like appliances, you should also photograph any serial numbers.
Write a List of the Damages
Besides photographing everything that suffered damage during the storm, you should also write a list of all damaged areas and items.
Try to make this as detailed as possible. Include the value, the age, and any receipts you might have for items.
Save Any Evacuation-Related Receipts
If you and your family had to evacuate your home, you might be able to recoup the expenses involved from your insurance policy.
To do this, save all of the receipts for evacuation-related expenses. These might include receipts for:
If you need to pay out-of-pocket for emergency-type services for your home, such as tarping, debris removal, or drying out, save these receipts as well so you can give them to your adjuster.
Contact Your Insurance Agent as Soon as Possible
In most cases, it’s best to contact your home insurance agent or provider as soon as possible.
Most carriers give you a limited window in which to make a storm damage insurance claim. If you fail to lodge storm insurance claims within this timeframe, you run the risk of them being denied outright.
Therefore, the earlier you contact your insurance agent or carrier, the better.
If you can’t access your property, you’ll probably need to wait to start the insurance claims process in earnest. However, though you’ll have to wait to gain access for your claim to properly get underway—you can still get in touch with your agent or contact, notify them of your upcoming claim, and enquire whether there is a way to get an initial aerial damage assessment.
Nowadays certain providers conduct initial assessments for storm insurance claims using drones.
Protect Your Home From Further Damage
Depending on the type of damage your home has undergone, you might need to carry out stop-gap work to prevent and mitigate further damage.
Some insurance providers will dispatch approved emergency services companies to carry out this work for you. Therefore, if you need to remove water from your home, board up windows, do tarping, clear fallen trees, etc, call your insurance agent or carrier to find out whether they will take care of this.
If not, then organized the services on your own and keep all receipts and invoices.
Communicate With Your Adjuster in Writing
Another important homeowner’s insurance claims tip you should know about is the importance of maintaining a paper trail.
To make sure you have proof of all your communications with your adjuster, try to communicate via email or text message. This way you’ll have a record of the interactions that transpired between you and the adjuster assigned to your claim.
Should there be any issues with your claim, these records can be invaluable.
Seek Legal Help if You’re Having Trouble With Your Claim
Although homeowners insurance claims should be straightforward, sometimes you can run into issues. This is especially likely if the damage is complex or extensive.
According to reports, climate change has been leading to record insurance payouts.
Unfortunately, climate change is exacerbating storm damage in many areas, with intense storms becoming more common. An upsurge in the extent and value of claims is one of the reasons why getting rightful compensation from your homeowners insurance can be more challenging these days.
To make sure that your home insurance claim is successful, you might want to seek legal help from an attorney. If your claim is large or complicated, having an attorney on hand can be invaluable.
Unfortunately, not all insurance providers have the best interests of their policyholders at heart. At the end of the day, their primary objective is to turn a profit.
An attorney will be able to help with sound interpretation of your homeowners insurance policy. If your carrier is not coming to the table, an attorney will be able to negotiate with them far more effectively than a private individual.
Even if your carrier is not disputing your claim, hiring the services of an attorney can still be of benefit. Extensive home damage can involve a lot of hidden costs and complexities.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your home is restored to its original condition, with the same quality of materials and finishes. An attorney will make sure that your insurer pays you out what is rightfully due, and that you won’t be shortchanged at the end of it all.
Follow These Homeowners Insurance Claims Tips for a Smoother Claims Process
Making a large insurance claim is often more difficult than it should be. However, if you follow these homeowners insurance claims tips, you’ll maximize your chances of enjoying a smooth claims process.
Has your home suffered severe storm damage? Is the claim extensive and complex?
If so, we can help ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Here at Babcock Injury Lawyers, we specialize in property damage cases and have decades of experience in both litigation and negotiations.
Contact us today to make sure you get the financial help you were promised when you took out your policy.