Insurance Lawyers Provide Tips for Submitting a Thorough Property Damage Claim to Your Insurance Company
If your property has been damaged, there are steps you can take to ensure the claim to your insurance company will process properly. Every detail counts in a property damage claim, so make sure to keep accurate and detailed records of all your losses. Insurance lawyers who specialize in property damage claims offer the following advice and will further assist you if your insurance company denies your claim.
Contact your insurance company the moment you notice damage to your property. Your insurance company should get you in contact with an adjuster who will provide instructions and visit your home to inspect the damage. If the damage is a result of a theft or burglary, also contact the police immediately. Obtain copies of the police report to include with your property damage claim.
Take photos of the damage for evidence in your claim. The more evidence you have, the stronger your claim will be. Carefully protect your property from further damage. If the area of the property damage is unsafe or exposed to the outside elements, make attempts to block the opening or unsafe area so your home, family, and pets are protected. If the damage has made your home inhabitable, find alternative accommodations for your family and pets immediately.
Make a list of all damaged belongings with as many descriptions as possible (i.e. brand name, model number, price, and store). The adjuster will need to examine these belongings and all damaged property, so don’t throw anything out until you are advised to.
If you suspect further structural damage that may not be noticeable, keep note of it and discuss it with the adjuster. You may want to hire an engineer or inspector to assess the potential structural property damage. They should provide you with a detailed report and an estimate for the damage costs.
When you hire a bonded or licensed contractor to repair the property damage, have the contractor provide you with a detailed estimate for the job, which should include the cost of labour and materials.
Keep all of your receipts for any extra costs you paid for out of pocket, such as: supplies and repair costs, temporary accommodations during repairs (i.e. hotel and meals), and costs to replace any damaged property.
Submit all required documents to your insurance company as soon as possible. Depending on the type of property damage, these documents may include:
- a copy of the engineer’s or inspector’s report,
- a copy of the contractor’s estimate,
- a copy of the police report,
- medical bills,
- repair bills,
- Proof of Loss forms,
- photos, and
Depending on the cause and extent of the damage, your insurance policy may not cover all or any of the damages. If you have trouble obtaining financial compensation for your property damage, an insurance lawyer can help you with your case.