Property damage claims are a headache no one wants to deal with. But if you’re dealing with property damage, it’s essential to understand the steps needed to get as much money as possible from your insurance agency.
In this guide, we’ll discuss understanding a claim and how to navigate it so you can maximize your payout at each step of the way.
First, What is a Claims Adjuster & Why Hire One?
Insurance adjusters are the people who evaluate your claim and determine how much money you’ll get from it. The process is simple:
If your property is damaged, your insurance company will send an adjuster to look at the damage. The adjuster will consider the extent and cost of repairs. The company will then determine your settlement amount–the amount you’ll be reimbursed to make repairs.
The need for a claims adjuster is simple. Insurance companies want only to pay out what they should. Adjusters are trained to assess claims, and an adjuster’s job is to identify damages and fraud that your insurance company may have overlooked. An experienced claims adjuster will help you get the most money possible from your claim.
You might be surprised that an adjuster doesn’t get paid every time they settle a claim.
Most insurance companies and other self-insured parties hire adjusters to settle claims on their behalf. Instead, they’re tasked with communicating with policyholders, investigating accidents, and determining how much money should be paid to claimants.
An adjuster gets paid differently than you think. First, a commission is taken off the top of any claim; then, the adjuster splits whatever is left over with the company’s attorneys and other employees who helped settle a claim. An adjuster gets paid after a claim has been settled.
The adjuster will interview the customer, inspect their property, and talk with witnesses who may have seen what happened. They’ll also look at other companies that have previously covered the same type of claim and compare those records with yours.
Types of Property Damage
Property damage can be caused by various things. Fire, wind, water, and vandalism are just a few examples. The type of property damage that occurred will determine how you proceed with your claim.
In addition to physical damage caused by these events, there may also be financial losses related to the event that needs to be covered by insurance companies.
When filing an insurance claim for property damage, ensure you have documentation showing what happened so they’ll know where they should send their check when it comes time for payment!
A few of the most common types of property damage include:
- Fire Damage
- Water Damage
- Storm or Natural Disaster Damage
Document Everything About the Incident
Once you’ve been involved in a property damage claim, it’s important to document the incident. This will help you later on when talking with your insurance agent and filing a claim.
- Take pictures of the scene
- Get a copy of the police report (if applicable)
- Keep copies of all receipts for repairs done by yourself or professionals hired by you or them (i.e., contractors)
- Keep copies of all estimates for repairs done by yourself or professionals hired by you or them (i.e., contractors)
- Keep copies of invoices from those same people if they have invoiced for their services already
Review Your Insurance Policy in Detail
You should be familiar with what your insurance policy covers and doesn’t cover. You can get this information from the fine print in your policy or by contacting your insurance provider directly.
You also need to know how much coverage you have and how much it costs. The amount of coverage right for you will depend on the value of what you own, but most people find that their standard homeowners’ policies are sufficient for most situations.
If an accident happens while a guest is at your house (and especially if they were driving), check whether any guests are covered under their own personal auto insurance policies before paying out-of-pocket because some do not provide protection against third-party claims such as those related to injuries sustained while visiting friends’ homes or staying at hotels/motels etcetera.
Get The Payout You Deserve
Insurance claim adjustments for storm, fire, water, and other disasters.
Contact Your Insurance Agency Immediately
Call your insurance agency as soon as possible. They need to know what’s happened, and they’ll be able to help you navigate this process.
Do not start cleaning up the mess before calling them. If you do, you could be held liable for any damage caused while doing so and may also void your claim if it can’t be proven that the mess was already there when you started cleaning (for example, there might have been some water damage behind the drywall).
Do not file a police report until after talking with an adjuster from your company or agency, even if someone else insists they will cover all costs associated with filing one! If something happens during an investigation that wasn’t mentioned in previous conversations between parties involved (like a damaged floorboard that wasn’t previously noted), then it could invalidate claims made by either party later on down the road when things get complicated due to conflicting statements made under oath before being sworn into office by attorneys representing each respective party involved in litigation proceedings involving these same matters.
Start Your Own Personal Filing System of the Incident
If you’re in an accident, the first step is to get a copy of the police report (if there is one). This will be essential in helping you file a claim.
Next, start your own personal filing system of the incident. Keep a folder for each claim, and keep all of your receipts, photos, and other documents in it. Keep the folder in a safe place that is easy to find when you need it: on your desk or workspace or at home in a file cabinet or drawer.
Organize it so that all related items are grouped together in one spot (e.g., if there were two cars involved in an accident and both need repairs, put them together).
Keep Records of Everything
When you have a disaster, keeping track of all the expenses related to repairing your home or replacing damaged property can be challenging. Here’s a list of what you’ll want to record:
- Receipts for everything you spend on repairs or replacement materials and labor costs
- Utilities like electricity and water that were shut off due to damage caused by the storm or flood
- Temporary housing while repairs are being made (if appropriate)
Follow the Proper Procedure Your Policy Suggests
When dealing with your insurance company, it’s important to follow the proper procedure that your policy suggests. This is because your claim will be denied if you don’t follow the rules and regulations of your insurance policy. When calling them about an issue related to property damage claims, your insurance company will tell you what steps they need to take to approve or deny a claim on their website or over the phone.
If they say they want pictures of the damage done by water leaks and mold growth within 24 hours of discovering this problem, this must happen before anything else can be done. If no mention was made within those guidelines, go ahead and take pictures at any time!
Work with a Property Adjuster to Determine Loss Value
Property damage claims are not the same as personal injury claims. While you may be tempted to handle your property damage claim independently, it’s essential to understand that many factors are at play when determining how much money you should receive in a settlement. For example, if an insurance adjuster determines that your car was damaged in a crash and then decides not to pay out any money for repairs because they think they could sell it for more than what they paid you (which is illegal), then this would be considered fraud by law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ).
Property damage claims are more complicated than personal injury claims because there are more variables involved when determining whether or not someone was negligent enough for their actions to warrant legal repercussions; however, proving negligence isn’t always easy either since both parties involved will likely have conflicting testimonies about what happened during an accident involving vehicles being driven by multiple people at once who aren’t always truthful about their involvement with each other at times due simply because they don’t want anyone else getting into trouble over something stupid like forgetting where they parked their car after going out drinking together one night.”
Different Property Insurance Coverage Categories
In order to help you better understand the different types of property insurance coverage, let’s review how they work.
Homeowners Insurance: This policy covers your home, its contents, and any additional structures on your property (such as a garage). It also pays for damage caused by fire or smoke that spreads from another building on your property. The amount you pay in premiums depends on factors such as location, age, and construction materials used in building your house. In most cases, homeowner’s policies do not cover losses related to earthquakes or floods unless they are added explicitly as riders (extra coverage).
Renters Insurance: Renter’s insurance protects against loss due to theft or vandalism affecting personal belongings inside a rental unit; however, it does not cover damages caused by natural disasters like earthquakes or floods because these perils fall under homeowner policies rather than the renter’s policies. Like homeowners’ policies, there may be an option for renters’ coverage but at an additional cost depending on where you live – this would include earthquake coverage if applicable, for example!
Why a Public Adjusting Group is Your Best Bet
The best way to ensure a successful property damage claim is through the use of a public adjusting group. Public adjusters have experience in the insurance industry and can help you get the most money possible for your claim. While an insurance company may try to deny your claim or give you less than what it’s worth, a public adjuster is not biased toward their own company or acting in their best interest; they will work hard on behalf of their client’s interests only.
A public adjuster has no stake in whether or not your policy is paid out, so they won’t be inclined toward either party when negotiating with them over how much compensation should be awarded for damages incurred during an accident or natural disaster (or both!). They are available 24/7–and unlike some attorneys who might only take cases through referrals from friends or family members (or worse yet: themselves), there is no limit on whom these professionals will represent as long as there’s money involved!
Get the Most Money Possible
When filing a claim for damaged or destroyed property, you might think that all you need to do is file the paperwork and move on. But if you want to get the most money possible, following the process we walked you through is essential.
More so, you should hire a public adjuster.
A public adjuster is someone who’s been licensed by the state and given permission to represent you in a claim against your insurance company. They can help ensure that everything goes smoothly and your rights are protected.
The first thing they’ll do is review your policy so they know exactly what your policy covers, what isn’t covered, and what needs to be added or removed from it. They’ll also look at any other policies that may apply, such as flood insurance or earthquake coverage.
Then they’ll assess the damage done to your home or business so they can figure out how much money needs to be paid out by your insurance company to cover their end of things (since they’re responsible for paying out claims). Once they have an idea how much money will be needed to fix everything up again (and depending on whether there’s any dispute between parties involved), they’ll talk with people from both sides of this situation (yourself included) about how
Choose Link Public Adjusting Group
If you’re going through property damage, it can be a stressful and confusing process. The best thing to do is stay organized and follow the proper steps outlined by your insurance company. If you have any questions about what to do next, contact us today!
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