Your home’s flooded, collapsing under fire damage, or the target of a burglary—no matter what has led to your property damage, it’s important to move quickly and take the right steps to get the compensation you deserve.
Immediately Notify Your Insurance Company (and the Police, If Necessary)
Your homeowners’ insurance policy requires you to report damage and file a claim within a specific deadline. When you call your home insurance company, make sure you have your policy number ready. Be ready to tell the representative what type of claim you want to make and what type of damage your home has sustained.
If your home has been damaged due to a break-in, you should call the police before reaching out to your insurance company. This is an important part of recovering damages.
Mitigate the Damage and Secure Your Premises
Some people mistakenly believe that homeowners’ insurance will cover all damage to their home, including damage that occurs after the initial disaster. However, your policy requires that you mitigate additional damage. If your home floods due to a leak, for example, you cannot leave the water running and allow further damage to the home. You must turn off the water to prevent further damage. Take any steps necessary to protect your property and prevent a third party from getting hurt.
Keep Records and Collect Evidence
Evidence is crucial for a property damage claim. Insurance companies use a wide range of tricks to minimize your payout, and if you don’t have the necessary evidence, you’ll have a hard time disputing their estimates. Take plenty of pictures, keep receipts for anything you spend on mitigating the damage, and consider taking a video of the damage. If there’s a police report, get a copy for insurance. Make sure you have your home inventory on hand to identify items damaged or stolen.
Advocate for Yourself
Do not make the mistake of assuming that your insurance company will do right by you. It is extremely common for companies to deny claims or pay out less than homeowners really deserve. If you run into opposition from your company, consider contacting an insurance litigation attorney with experience going up against big insurance companies.
Hold Off on Repairs
You might be tempted to begin repairing the damage right away, but you should wait. Repairing the damage often destroys evidence and makes it difficult to secure a payout from your insurance company. Wait until you have approval from your home insurance company to begin repairs.
As a consumer, you are at a disadvantage when negotiating with home insurance companies. Don’t let them take advantage of you! Call The Monfiston Firm, P.A. at 888-988-FIRM (3476) to schedule a consultation.