There’s nothing worse than having to file an insurance claim, but having to resubmit a claim is definitely up there. Property insurance is already tough to understand, but having to file a claim for what could become a complicated or extensively involved peril can make it even more difficult. We have a few tips to better understand the process involved with filing a claim, and where you can get caught up and make a mistake.
- Don’t fail to read your policy carefully.
- You should begin by reading over your policy. Review your coverages and what each means. Many policyholders incorrectly assume that items are covered that are not, only to file a claim and be disappointed to come to a sad realization. Misunderstanding, or not reading, your policy will result in a rough claims process if you need to file one.
- You’ve got insufficient or not enough coverages.
- This is not a surprise you want, because it could leave you in a financial hole depending on the assumption you make. You could have actual cash value coverage for your possessions, and not replacement value. The expectation is usually that your insurer will pay the replacement price, but if you don’t have that coverage and need to replace something that has a depreciated value you will be sorely disappointed that your insurer is giving you that.
- Not having an updated home inventory.
- We’ve already talked about making a home inventory time and again, but we’ll say it one more time. This should be a complete list of all of your possessions that are worth giving a layer of insurance. You don’t want to be working from memory in the event of a covered peril, especially because this will speed up your claim.
- Property maintenance that isn’t up-to-date.
- Maintaining a property is something that could fall by the wayside, and it could cause you to have a loss of coverage or a claim denial. If you take too long to report a slow leak and then have water damage near it, that you do file a claim on, it could be denied due to lack of maintenance.
- Not communicating your claim properly or in a timely manner.
- Claims that are communicated incorrectly typically result in delays that could make the process even more painstaking. A way to avoid this is to be as clear as you can about the damage when you report the claim. Reporting the claim quickly with photographic documentation is the best way to ensure that the claim is well documented and get the repair process in effect more quickly.
- Trying to tackle a massive claim on your own.
- It’s possible that you can handle a simple claim on your own, but it’s also possible that you could get lost in the legalese that your insurer will throw at you. Having a team like Gables Insurance Recovery’s public adjusters to help you understand your claim and untangle some of the misunderstandings that you will have is a great idea. Teams like ours are well-versed in dealing with all sorts of insurers and meeting all of their deadlines.
- Sub-par documentation.
- Documentation is the most key part of filing any claim, taking pictures of damages and putting all of the specifics about a particular loss together are pivotal steps. If you have a pre-loss inspection that will help even more since you will have a pre- and post-loss conditions to work from.
- Speed-Racer cleaning.
- You will probably feel the need to have an orderly and put-together property, and the anxiety of having any sort of damage will get on your last nerves and give you slight palpitations. We know, we’ve been there. Cleaning up too fast can be a huge financial mistake. In your clean up you could throw away damaged items that, when documented, would help when filing your claim. Also, it’s advisable that you maintain a paper trail, digital or in-print, of your claim and all communications with your insurer and prospective contractors.
- Having filed too many claims.
- Homeowners and auto insurance companies use the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE), a review of the claims submitted over the last seven years on the insured. The more claims that are on your CLUE history the more likely you will be considered a risky customer and will receive a higher premium.
If you’d like to review a claim and find out if you should file it, or need a public adjuster to help you better understand the process of filing a claim and helping you maneuver the ups and downs of negotiating and receiving the best possible reimbursement for your damages the Gables Insurance Recovery team is ready to work with you.