Putting your life back together after a major disaster means getting a fair payout on your property insurance claim. These are often some of the most challenging and stressful insurance claims to embark on. Not only are you reeling in the aftermath of a personal disaster, but you are dealing with an insurance company that will do everything it can to avoid paying out a major claim.
These are the five crucial guidelines for policyholders to protect their rights and ensure they receive the payout they deserve in a swift and timely manner.
Know the Ins and Outs of Your Policy
Your insurance policy declaration page and its attachments will provide you with all the details of your insurance policy. It is these details that your claim hinges on, and a thorough understanding of the provisions is important for holding the insurance company to task over the claim.
It should provide you with information of what you have to do to unlock your insurance payout. It should also tell you what payments you are entitled to while your claim is being settled.
Gather Extensive Evidence Before the Repairs or Clean Up Operations Begin
You will likely need to provide evidence of the damage the disaster wreaked on your property. Before you begin to clean up or repair the property in the wake of a disaster, ensure you have taken photos of all interior and exterior damage. Anything that isn’t photographed could be omitted from the payout.
The insurance company should send an adjuster out to assess the damage, but it could take some months. If they arrive in the midst of the clean-up process and you don’t have well-documented evidence of the destruction caused by the disaster, it could lead to a smaller insurance settlement.
Get a Reputable Contractor
For the repairs, get a reliable and honest contractor who has a very high-standard of work.
You may wish to seek out a contractor long before there is any damage on your property and begin using them for small jobs. Often, following a major disaster, good contractors are booked up and will not accept new clients. If you already have a good relationship with them, it will help you get the repairs completed swiftly and avoid further disruption.
Seek Professional Assistance
There are public adjusters like MillerPublicAdjusters.com who work with homeowners to ensure they are not getting short changed in the wake of a major property insurance claim. Adjusters can alleviate the stress and provide you with an experienced professional to help you fight for your settlement when you go up against the insurance company.
You pay a lot of money for an insurance policy. You want to make sure you get a fair return on your investment when the time comes. The adjuster works with you every step of the claims process to make sure you receive the full sum of your entitlement.
Don’t Admit Any Fault
When the insurance company’s adjuster pays a visit to the property, answer their questions politely but avoid giving too much information.
Anything you say will be used by the insurance firm to mitigate its financial responsibilities. Even something as innocent as, “we had been meaning to cut that tree down because it looked dead” can be used as evidence to suggest that the falling tree caused damage that could have been avoidable if you had acted sooner.
Don’t be beguiled into offering more information than necessary, and never admit fault.