It’s not always exactly clear what the next step is after a hurricane, windstorm or flood damages a property. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the murky waters of the insurance claims process.
- Report the claim ASAP. The sooner you report a claim, the more accurately you can tie it to a specific cause and begin what can be a lengthy process to obtain your settlement.
- Document Everything. Always keep detailed records of all conversations and interactions you have with your insurer, including the names of each representative you speak with and the general context of every conversation.
- Be Specific. Provide detailed documentation of all damage, such as photographs or videos, and proof of any temporary measures taken to prevent further damage to your property, like receipts. This can help ensure you obtain a fair investigation. Also, do not discard damaged items or prematurely make repairs to your property, unless absolutely necessary, before your insurance company has conducted its evaluation.
- Get a second opinion. If you feel as though your insurance company’s estimate does not fairly represent the amount or extent of your property’s damages, ask local and trusted contractors to provide their budgets for the repairs.
- Obtain legal counsel. If you believe your insurance company is failing to honor the terms of your coverage or poorly handling your claim, seek legal counsel.