You take a lot of pride in caring for your home and making it a place that feels safe to you and your family. It can feel like a real violation when your home is damaged by someone or something else, especially when you have no control over the situation.
Then you are stuck dealing with the aftermath of the damage. Sometimes that damage is too significant and you need to get your insurance company involved with a property damage claim.
Dealing with the insurance company on top of the damages can feel daunting and overwhelming. Often you need the help of an attorney to motivate the insurance company to pay your claim.
Read on to learn more about the process of making property damage claims.
What Is a Property Damage Claim?
Let’s first understand what it means to make a property damage claim. When you make a property damage claim you go to your insurance company seeking compensation because of the damage that has happened to your home.
The process can be daunting if your home experienced damage as a result of a storm when many others are making an attempt to make claims too.
How quickly you get paid on your claim can depend on many factors, like your type of insurance, the extent of damage, and even what actually caused the damage.
Causes of Property Damage
Property damage can happen to your property in a variety of formats.
You might experience a weather occurrence that causes damage. The weather might be from a hurricane, tornado, hail, or a high wind event. In the north, snowstorms can even cause property damage from the weight of the snow. Fire is another common cause of property damage.
Your property could also be damaged by another person through a robbery on your property or vandalism.
Finally, your property might get damaged as a result of a moving vehicle accident.
When Should You Make a Claim?
In reality, if you decide to make a claim, you should do it as quickly as possible. More on reason to potentially not make a claim later.
Whatever the event was that caused your damage, you want your insurance company to connect the event to the damage. The sooner you make a claim, the more quickly you can get an adjuster to look at your issue and get repairs done.
In most cases, there is a time limit to make claims and you don’t want to miss the window to make a claim from the damage.
Understanding How to File a Claim With Your Insurance Company
Once you experience damage to your property, you can make a claim by contacting your insurance company. Many larger insurance companies have a separate claims department number.
They will give you paperwork to fill out about the claim. You want to be careful to document everything. If you decide you want to make a claim, you want to be very thorough in your claim. Make sure to note everything that was part of the damage.
If you leave it out, you won’t be compensated for it.
The process of filing a claim and getting it approved can be time-consuming and tedious with the insurance company. This is especially true if you have a large claim.
You want to start immediately from the moment the damage occurs and make sure you document everything. Document the damage with photographs. The more detailed those photos are the better, especially if it takes an inspector a while to get to your house.
Document every phone call and exchange you have with the insurance company.
If your damage was caused by another person, for example, you experienced a break-in or vandalism, you want to contact the police and get a police report. This becomes an important part of the documentation.
If your property is damaged so badly that you are unable to continue living there, you also want to keep careful documentation of all expenses because you have been displaced. This includes transportation costs, hotels, and food.
Make Urgent Repairs
Sometimes the damages you experience can be so significant you can’t wait for an adjuster to show up or money from the insurance company before making repairs.
If you have urgent repairs, you should make them. You don’t want there to be more damage caused because you left the urgent issues unresolved.
Remember, to document what repairs you make, even if they are temporary fixes. Keep track of time and cost associated with the repairs so they can become part of your claim.
Pros and Cons of Making a Claim
When you first experience damage to your property, you will need to make the decision about whether to actually make a claim. You will need to consider the amount of damage and your deductible when making this decision. If the potential costs or repairs for the damage is around the amount of your deductible, it might not make sense to make a claim.
If you do make a claim, you can ensure you have the funds to get the needed repairs taken care of properly. This helps to retain your home’s value. You can also get reimbursed for any items in your home that were damaged or destroyed as a result of the property damage event.
Some people are reluctant to make a claim for fear their rates will go up. Is that a possibility? Yes, you could see a rate increase after making a claim. It depends a lot on how often you make claims and their value. If you have property damage, you should not let this keep you from making a claim.
Getting Help With Your Claim
Once you get started with the claims process, you may find that the insurance company is dragging its feet or even resisting paying for your claim.
If you have a claim where you are not getting what you need from the insurance company, you may find it necessary to contact an attorney that specializes in property damage claims. This kind of attorney knows how to navigate and negotiate with insurance companies.
They also know how to handle disputes with the insurance company so you can get your claim paid.
Understanding Property Damage Claims
No matter the cause, being a victim of property damage can be frustrating and upsetting. After all, you take pride in your home and don’t want to see it damaged by something or someone else.
Property damage claims can also be frustrating when you are forced to deal with the insurance company. If you find yourself in this position, we can help.
We have experience in dealing with property damage claims and navigating disputes with the insurance company. Contact us today to set up an appointment so we can start to work on your behalf and get your property repaired.