Witnessing the damage caused to your property by a storm or other event can be devastating. Hopefully, you have adequate insurance in place to protect your property and investment and to help put you back into the position you were in prior to the storm.
Tips When Starting an Insurance Claim After Witnessing Damage to Your Property
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
There should be a toll-free claims number on your policy. Most companies require you to notify them in writing, so follow up with a written notice with information about what happened.
Review your policy.
Make sure you understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. If you’re not sure, ask your agent or the company to explain. You may find that speaking to a qualified insurance claim attorney may be helpful as he or she may be able to better explain the coverages available under your policy.
Have your policy number ready when you call your company.
Also, be prepared to answer questions about the damage.
Take pictures or videotape the damaged area.
It is important to document any damaged property before you make any repairs. This is especially important if you make repairs before your insurance adjuster has seen the damage.
Don’t throw anything away.
Do not discard any damaged property or remove it from the house until your insurance adjuster has seen it. If the insurance adjuster cannot verify the damage, you may have a harder time obtaining coverage for the repair of that property.
Make reasonable repairs.
If your property needs some immediate repairs, perform these repairs in order to protect your home and property from more damage, but don’t make large structural or permanent repairs until your company says it’s OK.
Write down everything you spend on repairs and keep the receipts.
Keep a written log.
List everyone you speak with at your insurance company. Note the time, date, name of the person, and what you talked about. Keep copies of letters or other documents you and your company send each other.
Get Help from a Professional!
After a catastrophic loss, you will not be in the best frame of mind to handle this situation. The insurance company knows this and – since it is not their first insurance loss – the company may use this advantage against you. Also, unless you are a property damage expert, you may not be able to ascertain the full extent of your loss.
Has Your Home Insurance Company Denied Or Undervalued Your Property Damage Claim In Florida?
If your insurance company is dragging their feet regarding your property damage claim you should speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florida law office directly at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents just like you fight the big insurance companies who fail to abide by their own policies. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case.