As a policyholder, you need to realize that your insurance policy states contractual obligations for you and your insurance company. If you don’t hold up your end of the agreement, the insurance company doesn’t have to hold up their end. That’s why understanding what to do after a property loss is so important. Be sure that you understand your policy so that you get the best insurance settlement possible from your property damage claim.
Your Responsibilities After a Loss
After a property loss occurs, there are several things you need to do, especially if the property was damaged due to a storm or disaster. Here are the most common responsibilities you will have:
- Prevent further damage to the property. For example, add a tarp to a damaged roof, cover other openings into the home, or prevent mold.
- Meet all the deadlines. This includes filing the property damage claim with your insurance company within the right period of time and with all the needed documentation.
- Provide the needed details for the property damage claim. You need to list the damage to property. This includes household items. Be sure to provide a value for all lost property. You cannot be reimbursed for items not listed.
- Document all damage with photographs, video, and written descriptions.
- Keep all the receipts related to the claim.
Claims Process is Detail-Oriented
The truth is that any property damage claim will take a lot of time. It will also require you to pay attention to the details and deal with many interested parties. Even though you’ve sustained damage, you are not likely to get a claims check quickly.
- It takes time to look at your policy to see what it covers and what it excludes
- You have to detail and document the loss incurred
- The insurance company will need an itemized claim package
- You will have to meet or communicate with anybody involved in your property damage claim
- Once a settlement is offered, you may need to further negotiate to get a fair deal
Money for Post-Damage Expenses
Some insurance policies provide money for post-damage expenses. These are typically things that allow you to continue living in a normal fashion. Look at your policy to see if it covers such things as:
- Temporary living arrangements for homes that are inhabitable
- Transportation costs if forced to live outside your current area
- Additional food costs. For instance, the need to eat out or buy easy-to-cook foods that cost more than you typically spend.
It’s Your Job to Prove Your Property Damage Claim
It is up to you to prove that you’ve had a loss and determine what they owe you. Although your insurance company has an adjuster, that adjuster does not work for you. Their job is to keep costs down for the insurance company who sees your claim as a financial transaction.
In order to prove your property damage claim, you need to itemize everything. Then you need to provide your insurance company with a detailed and well-documented claim. If you do not provide everything needed, your claim could be denied. You also risk getting a settlement that is not enough to cover your actual losses.
If you are denied, or your claim is too small, all is not lost. Insurance claims are negotiable. You are not required to take the initial settlement offer.
Hire Professional Help
As a homeowner with a property damage claim, you have the right to hire someone to help you. Public adjusters help those with claims get the best settlement possible.
Since a public adjuster is hired by you, they have your best interests at heart. They can help you:
- Put together the claims package
- Expedite the process
- Get the money you deserve
Contact Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting if you’ve experienced a property loss. Our experienced team and one-on-one process keep you informed from beginning to end of your property damage claim. When you need someone on your side, we’ll be there. Call us today.