Property damage can be caused by natural factors, including fire, hail, wind, flooding, freezing, and intentional acts like theft and negligence. Damage to your real or personal property can be costly. Property damage insurance can prevent you from suffering any losses.
While they may want to meet the policy obligations, the aim of the insurance company is usually to pay as little as possible to maximize their profits. However, you can always find ways to get the most out of your insurance claim. This article outlines nine tips for maximizing your property damage insurance.
1Understand your property damage policy
Homes and other properties are prone to several damaging elements which may fall into the human error or natural disaster category. The human error property claims may be linked to fire, pipe bursts, construction defects, or subsidence. Around one in 40 insured homes has a property damage claim related to wind every year. Other natural force claims may be related to hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, lightning, or water damage.
When filing your property damage insurance claim, it’s critical to note the damages within your insurance policy’s scope or what you can claim against potentially responsible third parties. The precise nature of the elements an insurance company covers will differ based on the policies. An experienced property damage lawyer can help you understand and protect your rights to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your claim.
2Hire a property damage attorney
Property insurance claims will often include coverage disputes. While you may maintain your insurance coverage and pay the premiums on time each month, the insurer might refuse to honor the claim or reduce the damage amount. When filing your claim, hiring a property damage lawyer helps ensure that the insurance company fairly compensates you for your losses. They determine liability, file the claim, prepare damages inventory, examine settlement offers, and communicate with insurance companies.
Creating and updating your property is a great way to make the most of your renters or homeowner’s insurance. It makes it simpler and more efficient to file an insurance claim. Your property inventory should include everything you possess alongside their approximated financial value. Disasters can be stressful and frightening, making it more challenging to list the damaged property for your claims form. Having your possessions adequately documented in the inventory can be a relief filing the insurance claim. After the disaster, make a comprehensive list of the damaged items.
4Document the damages
If your property gets damaged, take photos and videos of it immediately before cleaning. Take pictures of any extra damage caused by the incident, including bowing floorboards or cracks in the floors. Take comprehensive notes about all you can remember, including phone calls with the insurer, witnesses, neighbors, and other people involved during the claims process. This may include any contractors you may consult for repair estimates.
5Collect multiple repair and restoration estimates
Consult various licensed and accredited contractors to estimate how much you’ll need to repair or restore the damaged property. When picking a contractor, look at their testimonials, references, reviews, accreditations, and workmanship. When the insurance adjuster offers you a settlement, compare it to the insurance adjuster’s offer and if it falls below those estimates, negotiate for better estimates.
6Hire a public insurance adjuster
Property insurance policies are complicated and hard to interpret if you lack the knowledge. A public insurance adjuster helps you understand, adjust and maximize your property damage claim. They manage and resolve your claim faster, saving you time. Public adjusters don’t have a relationship with the insurer. They protect your rights as the policyholder by using their skill set to ensure an appropriate settlement. A public insurance adjuster will negotiate for higher property insurance compensation than the insurer plans to pay.
7Mitigate further damage
If there are emergencies such as burst pipes, leaks, or flooding, don’t wait until the insurance adjuster comes to assess your property for emergency repairs. You can call a local, certified restoration company or contractor to fix it. Your insurer might not cover you for the damages if there’s something you could have done to avoid or avert the damage. Save their photos, assessments, comprehensive scope of work done, reports, and receipts. You can include the temporary repairs costs in your claim for reimbursement.
8Save damaged items
Document and save your damaged or destroyed items until the insurance adjuster comes. Avoid throwing out any things even if they’re destroyed beyond repair. This acts as critical evidence for your claim. Take photos to ensure the insurance adjuster has sufficient proof of the damage because cleaning up without proper documentation may hurt your claim.
9Examine the damage before the insurance adjuster comes
You know your property better than anyone else. Assessing it before the adjuster comes helps you identify breakage, cracks, stains, or tilting floors indicating structural or related damage, ensuring maximum compensation.
When handled well, a property damage insurance claim can help get you back on track after a disaster. Use these tips to maximize your property damage insurance.