If your home suffered damage due to a fire, hail, wind, or any other natural disaster, you can file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company. That does not mean they will not try to undervalue or deny your claim, though.
An insurance claim can be tedious, especially if the damage was extensive, but there are four ways to maximize your homeowner’s insurance claim. You should be careful what you say to the insurance company and gather as much documentation of the damage as possible. Prepare for a long process and consider hiring an insurance attorney to help.
Be Careful What You Say to the Insurance Company
The goal of any insurance representative is to save their company money. To do this, they may look for every opportunity to deny a claim. Then, if they do approve a claim, they may fight tooth and nail to undervalue your claim.
They may try to cite clauses in your policy to exclude certain coverage, for example. They may also try to argue about how the damage occurred to your property so they do not have to cover it at all.
This is why it’s important to be mindful of what you say to an insurance representative or adjuster. Make sure to stick to the facts when speaking with them, such as the date the damage occurred and which areas of your property are damaged. An insurance attorney can handle communications with them for you and protect you from bad faith practices.
Document Your Losses
Document everything that has happened. Take plenty of photos and videos where appropriate, and get copies of all relevant receipts that could help you with your claim. Once you’ve gotten all of this in place, it will put you in a far stronger position than if you simply call your insurance company and let them know your property suffered damage.
By coming prepared with both the documents and information you’ll need, you send a signal to the insurance company that they won’t be able to take advantage of you. To that end, you’re going to want to do some research into the specifics of your policy.
You should take note of what your policy covers as well as what it does not cover. That way, if an insurance representative tries to claim that they won’t be able to cover damage that the policy assures in writing that they will cover, you can call them on it. An insurance attorney can review your policy and work to hold the insurer accountable for its end of the agreement.
Keep an Eye Out for Deadlines
You should also take note of the claims process and make sure that you don’t miss any deadlines while filing your claim. Your insurance representative will look for any reason to deny your claim, and not meeting an arbitrary deadline may give them fodder to do so.
An insurance attorney can also help you meet any deadlines and work to streamline your claim as much as possible.
Understand that You’re in This for the Long Haul
Coming prepared will make the process much smoother for you, but it could still take weeks or even months for you to get a result in your claims process. By its nature, this process takes quite a bit of time and can get very tedious, so it’s important to stay strong and be firm with the insurance company.
They’re hoping that by dragging out the process, they can get you to give up so that they won’t have to pay for your damages. In fact, this ends up being the case for all too many homeowners. With that said, it’s important to remember that insurance companies must pay valid claims.
Notifying Your Insurer
It helps here to have an idea of the general process. Everything starts with notifying your insurance company, where you’ll present your evidence and take steps to prevent any extra damage from occurring.
You’ll need to allow someone from the insurance company to come by and inspect the damage themselves as needed, and you’ll have to document everything while working toward establishing a total value for those damages.
Restoring Your Property
You’ll need to get in touch with contractors and collect their bids while keeping documentation that you can then show the insurance company. You’ll then need to pick a contractor and collect evidence that they’ve done the work needed to restore your property.
From there, you’ll gather any final receipts and present them to your insurance company so that you can negotiate the final coverage amount in your case.
Consider Hiring an Insurance Attorney
There are times when the homeowner’s insurance claims process becomes too much to handle. When you’re already dealing with catastrophic damage to your home and possibly even having to live elsewhere while repairs are made, hiring a lawyer can take a great weight off your shoulders.
The Insurance Lawyers with GED Lawyers Can Help Maximize Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
GED Lawyers is ready to step in and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our disaster recovery lawyers can handle your entire claim from start to finish. Call us today.