When you have suffered a loss to your property, an insurance claim is supposed to restore your property to a pre-loss condition. Navigating a homeowners insurance claim can be daunting. Depending on your insurance, you may be required to get estimates for repairs, submit photos of the damages, set up inspections, or provide detailed lists of losses. Understanding the process can give you a better chance of recovering the money for repairs from your insurance company in a timely fashion.
Before You Do Anything
Before you do anything, you should have a good idea of what the damage will cost. Because claims may make your insurance rates increase, you want to make sure that it is worth filing a claim if the repair is a relatively small one. If the damage is not significant, you may want to weigh whether it is worth making a claim, especially considering any deductible.
If the damage is extensive enough to warrant a claim, you will want to file it as soon as possible. First, you will want to document any damage that your home or property has sustained as accurately as possible. You can do this by way of photographs and/or videos.
Temporary Repairs to Avoid Further Damage
You will want to prevent any further damage with temporary repairs, but you will want to notify your insurance company first. Don’t do anything until you talk to your insurance agent or adjuster.
Follow the Rules and Consider Deadlines
Make sure to consider all deadlines when filling out forms and paperwork. Missing deadlines can jeopardize your claim. Make sure it is filed properly and get a claim number and the contact name and number of your insurance adjuster. You will want to be thorough and document all costs. As you place a value on your claim, take all your costs into consideration. This not only includes the value of the damages but also lost income, alternative living arrangements, the cost of a rental automobile, or any other expenses you have incurred.
Be Present For Inspections
If your adjuster visits to assess damages or has scheduled an inspection, you will want to be there as well. This way, you can answer any questions, understand the logic behind the findings, and prevent any miscommunications. If you are absolutely unable to be present for this, make sure that you request a copy of the damage report immediately.
Never Feel Forced into an Unfair Settlement
You will want to know what your rights are under your policy. Read your policy carefully and make sure that your insurance company is doing what they are supposed to be doing. Never feel forced into a settlement, even if you are impatient to get the whole process over with. You will want to be confident that you are getting the settlement that you truly deserve. If not, you can dispute the company’s settlement with sufficient proof that you are owed more under your policy terms.
Although you want to be patient, you may need to stay on top of the insurance claim and stay in contact with your adjuster. You will need to be assertive when dealing with the insurance company or adjusters to ensure that they are working with your best interests in mind.
As professional Miami insurance lawyers, we often see that insurance companies are not always using good faith practices when it comes to homeowners claims. If you have questions concerning your insurance claim or feel you have been treated unfairly, call the professionals at Korin Law, P.A. to understand your rights.