People are understandably upset when their home is damaged or destroyed, and it is very unusual for anyone to feel that filing an insurance claim made the moment easier. There is no way to make the experience simple, but there are ways to improve the claims process so it is more lucrative and efficient for the property owner.
Show the Event Through Video
A house fire, raging storm or neighborhood flood is possible to capture on film as it happens. A video can prove the severity of the incident as well as the attempt on the homeowner's part to reduce, through sandbags, fire extinguishers or other means, the destruction.
It is not always safe for the homeowner to capture a video at this moment or emotionally possible. No one should put themselves at risk just to help speed up their insurance claim. However, with the popularity of home surveillance cameras and smartphones, there is a chance that a neighbor may have this evidence available.
Document the Damage on Film
Include photographs of the damaged property to prove the extent of the loss. This step is even more important if cleanup must take place before the insurance company can send out their adjuster - or example, to cover broken windows or remove water from the home. Losses that occur after the initial incident are not always covered if they could have been prevented.
Taking photographs of the interior and exterior of the home on a regular basis is a good habit to develop because it is sometimes difficult for someone that has never seen the home to decipher how much was damaged. Before and after pictures that show the changes help to provide validity for the claim.
Get Police and Witness Statements
Insurance companies require a police report whenever there is vandalism, theft or any criminal activity. Include a copy of the report as well as any statements from witnesses to the event. These statements will be in the official report, but the addition of witness contact information allows the insurance company to talk to them directly if needed.
Keep Updated Inventory Records
Videos not only document the event and the damage, but also they record personal inventories. Take videos of the interior and exterior of the home, garage, and any other structures or features on the property. Include close-up shots of valuable items like art collections, jewelry or other collectibles.
Retain receipts for expensive purchases as well as contracts for home repairs and remodels. Maintain a written inventory of the details of items. For example, record the brand name and a serial number of tools, appliances and electronics.
Careful documentation makes it much easier to determine the value of the loss. Store all inventory lists and videos in a fireproof safe, a safe deposit box or scan and store documentation and upload it along with the videos to the cloud so it is accessible after a disaster.
Have a Professional Advocate
Hire a public adjuster to have an unbiased voice for assistance. Public adjusters do not work for the insurance company. Individuals hire them to protect their interests by reviewing the incident and the settlement offer from the insurance company. They can only help their clients to get the coverage their policy allows, but they make sure everyone receives a fair settlement.
Low insurance settlements may seem less worrisome than an outright denial of a claim but are concerning. People may have financial problems if they do not receive enough to replace what was lost. Insurance rates may increase after just one claim, and this could strain the finances of a family that is already struggling.The People's Choice Public Adjuster is a company that uses their skills and knowledge of the insurance industry to prevent denials and insufficient settlements. We do all we can to make certain our clients receive what they paid for when they purchased their insurance policy. Contact us today for help with a current or previous claim.