Floods, hurricane seasons or even a small plumbing leak can cause serious property damage. Although Intellaclaim Public Adjusters advocates for prevention, homeowners should be aware of the necessary steps to filing an insurance claim. The more informed you are, the better prepared you will be in case of an emergency.
1. Evaluate Your Losses. When you locate the damaged areas, take several pictures from differentangles and keep them in your records. Make sure you take pictures of the entire room or area, both outside and inside just in case. Next, one of the most important questions when filing an insurance claim is your date of loss. Pay close attention to the damages on your property and evaluate when the loss occurred. This is significant because insurance companies require claims to be reported in a timely manner and don’t cover long-term damages. However, you can still open a claim for damages you repaired out of pocket as long as your have supporting documentation and pictures that your insurance company will need to determine coverage. If this is the case, it is recommended you hire professional help.
2. Understand Your Policy. Before you call your insurance company, make sure you review your full policy. It is important that you pay close attention to what is covered, the different types of coverages and exclusions as well as the deductibles. This is especially significant when determining the cost of repairs or replacement. Intellaclaim can help insureds become acquainted with their policy so they can gauge time sensitivity and proper claim settlement procedures with a free consultation. Another easy way to review the summary of your coverage is referring to the declaration page, which is updated on a yearly basis. This document provides an outline of your coverage as well as the important details that insurance companies will require when filing a claim. It’s also a good idea to compare your declarations page with previous years to validate premium concessions like free discounts, if available.
3. Keep Everything in Writing. From calling the insurance company to sending pictures of damages, keep a record of all your communications with every involved party. Intellaclaim recommends keeping a log of names and dates that track conversations and pending responses. There is a lot of paperwork involved when filing a claim, so make sure you keep copies of everything you send to the insurance company. Intellaclaim recommends keeping digital and physical copies of all important correspondence and paperwork. Remember to keep receipts and invoices to any and all repairs or out of pocket expenses.
4. Get a Second Opinion. After you file a claim, an adjuster from the insurance company will contact you for an inspection of your property. Their assessment will determine the amount money you will receive according to your policy terms and losses. They will then mail you a check with the settlement amount they deem appropriate for your claim. Take into consideration that the adjuster works for the insurance company and not for you. In some cases, your claim might even be flat-out denied incorrectly. Every claim is unique, but as a homeowner you have the right to a second opinion. Intellaclaim offers a free consultation and inspection with no obligation. Consider getting a second opinion before accepting the first settlement check from the insurance company. If no contractor can do the repairs for the settlement amount paid, that’s usually the first sign to call a Public Adjuster.
5. Hire Professional Help. If you have a large claim or believe you are entitled to more funds, you should consider hiring professional help. Public adjusting companies such as Intellaclaim are usually a good option because they can provide sound advice and manage all of the communications in a professional and timely matter. Additionally, companies like Intellaclaim can provide free initial consultations to determine how to move forward with a claim. They are well versed with the intricacies of the claim process and will help you receive a fair settlement. You may also consider hiring an appraiser or attorney to represent your case if necessary. However, sometimes this might be more costly and prolong the process.