3 Steps to Property Insurance Claims
At some point, going to have to deal with property damage. Disaster is guaranteed to strike no matter what. Regardless of if it’s small, like a broken fence or minor storm damage, orbits a major issue like a fire or a flood, hopefully you have a plan in place to take care of the damage. Homeowners have property insurance for a reason.
It’s a good thing to always go over the steps to claim property insurance. When you’re in the midst of a disaster, it might be too difficult to remember each step specifically while going through the process. But if you’re mindful and are prepared, then you should get through the process with no issue whatsoever.
Here are the three steps to always remember for property insurance claims.
Step #1: Get a Good Idea of the Damage
The first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at the damage you have to determine if it’s worth filing a claim for. No matter how small the claim, it will increase your rates, so it’s best to avoid making a claim if you don’t have to. Just call a repair person or fix it yourself. Eating that cost will be cheaper down the line than filing a claim.
But, if the damage is too extensive, you will have to file. Before you call, get a good understanding of what you’re working with. You already know that the insurance company will most likely give you a lowball number, so if you don’t know the value of the damage, hire a qualified and professional contractor to help get a good assessment.
No matter what you do, take lots of pictures. Even if you don’t think it matters, take pictures of it. Document everything the best you can.
Step #2: Familiarize Yourself with Filing a Claims Repair
The best thing for you to do is to understand and be prepared for the process you’re about to go through. After taking pictures and getting estimates from contractors, you’ll now have to deal with a lot of hassle. Insurance companies don’t like to give away money, so it’s going to be a time consuming and often frustrating process.
You’ll speak to your agent and then the claims advisor who will go over how the process will go forward, how you’ll get your money, and when. Then, the company will send in their own consultant. This could be a several week process where they go over the damage and gather the necessary details.
Step #3: Begin to Fix the Issues
Once you’ve gone through all the hassle of dealing with the insurance company, it’s time to start fixing the issues and getting yourself back on your feet. You will use the money you get from the insurance company to start repair work ASAP.
There are a variety of companies out there who excel in disaster clean-up. Whether it’s removing the smell of smoke from the house, repairing flood damage, HVAC installation or repair, plumbing, or any other issues, they’ll be able to take care of it for you. You also have the option of pocketing the cash and fixing it yourself, but again, your rates would skyrocket.