On average, one out of twenty insured homes has a claim each year. However, many of these claims get denied because of mistakes made by the homeowner. At Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, LLC, we work hard to help homeowners get the claim settlement they deserve. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help do just that.
DO Know What Your Policy Covers
Long before a damage occurs, homeowners should understand what their homeowners policy covers and what it doesn’t. If you don’t understand your policy or would like help determining if your policy is adequate for your needs, contact us today for a free insurance evaluation.
DO Contact Your Insurance Company Right Away
One of the first things you should do when you have damage to your property is contact your insurance company. The longer you wait to report the claim, the more likely it is to get a denial of your claim. Plus, the longer you wait to get started, the longer it will be to get a settlement even if they do accept the claim.
DO Mitigate the Damages
Your insurance company requires that you do what is possible to keep any damages from getting worse. For instance, in the case of storm damage, it is up to the homeowner to cover holes with tarps, pull out wet debris, and board up windows. Of course, you should only do what you can do safely – and be sure to take before, during, and after photos of all work you perform to keep your property from sustaining further damage.
DO Document, Document, Document
You will need to keep a record of everything that happens from the start of the claim until the resolution. This includes:
- Photos of damages inside and outside
- Photos of any mitigation completed
- Who you’ve talked to – Name, company, time, and method of communication
- Receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses
- Current home inventory list to document losses
- Contractor estimates
DON’T Pay Third-Party Claims
If you are seeking insurance compensation, you should not pay a third-party claim out of pocket. Doing so could mean that you will no longer qualify for a claim. Before making any payments, check with your insurance company as to how they want you to deal with compensation.
DON’T Close Out a Claim Too Early
Many times, especially during a disaster such as a hurricane, insurance companies may pressure a homeowner to sign off on a settlement quickly. Unfortunately, closing out a claim early could mean not uncovering all the damage. Once you’ve signed that the claim is closed, it can be difficult to get more money if you find damages down the road. Before signing anything, be sure that all aspects of the property have been thoroughly inspected, especially for things such as hidden water damage, structural damage, and mold.
DON’T Do It Alone
The claims process can be daunting, but there is no reason to do it without help. A public adjuster is someone who works on your side to help you get the best possible settlement given your property’s damages and insurance policy.
At Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, LLC, we will be there to help:
- Inspect your home for damages
- Create the necessary documentation needed by the insurer
- File the claim
- Attend inspections
- Create repair estimates
- Negotiate with your insurance company
If you have damage to your home, give us a call. We are here to help.