It’s hurricane season in Florida. That means you may be faced with an insurance claim sometime during 2018. You are likely to have many questions about the process, including how to estimate the loss and whether you will get a large enough settlement to make all the repairs. Since the claims process can be confusing, here are some questions to ask your insurer after disaster strikes.

Questions to Ask Your Insurer About the Team

You will spend a lot of time working with your insurance company. That is why it is important to understand a few things about the team of people working on your claim. Here are the questions to ask your insurer about the team:

  • Who will I contact with questions or concerns during the claims process?
  • What is the name of the insurance adjuster that will determine my loss?
  • How will I know what is going on with my claim and its progress?
  • What experts do you hire to document the damages to my property? For instance, do you hire estimators, engineers, forensic accountants, etc?
  • Does my policy cover any costs for my own experts?

Questions About Your Responsibilities

Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. As such, both parties have responsibilities to uphold. You need to understand your responsibilities so that you get the payout you deserve. Here are the questions you to ask your insurer about your responsibilities:

  • What documents do you need me to fill out?
  • What are the deadlines for these forms?
  • Can I access these forms online? If not, how do I get these forms?
  • Can you explain how to create the inventory of the contents of my home?
  • When creating the inventory, what information do you need for each item?
  • Do you have a specific way for me to document the loss with photographs?
  • What do I do if there is nothing left to photograph or identify?
  • How do you decide what to clean and what to replace? Do I have any input?
  • Can I hire a restoration company to begin cleanup before you send your adjuster?
  • When should I begin to repair my property and replace my belongings?
  • Do I have to hire a contractor or can I make repairs myself?

Questions About Coverage and Exclusions

The best time to learn about your insurance policy’s coverages and exclusions is before a disaster strikes. However, even after something like a hurricane, you may have questions about what your policy covers. Here are some questions to ask your insurer about your policy:

  • Does my policy cover hurricane damage?
  • What damages will this policy not cover?
  • Do I have policy limits?
  • What is my deductible? Will the hurricane deductible apply?
  • What valuation methods do you use based on my policy?

Questions About Settlements

Eventually, your insurance company will offer a settlement amount. However, before you even put in a claim, here are some questions to ask your insurer about settlements.

  • Is it possible to get an advance before the final settlement?
  • How do you determine how much I will get for the settlement?
  • When will I get my settlement funds? How are they distributed?
  • What do I do if I don’t feel the settlement is fair?
  • Can I appeal if my claim is denied?
  • Do I get any money for additional living expenses such as temporary housing or food costs? If so, how do I get reimbursed?

Although these questions to ask your insurer will help you file a claim, you may want to hire a public adjuster. Public adjusters like those at Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, will help you determine the value of your loss, file the claim, and negotiate with your insurance company. If you’ve experienced a disaster, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.