What Not To Do When Filing a Property Insurance Claim

On behalf of Smith Jadin Johnson, PLLC posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

Though you may not realize it, filing an insurance claim is a legal process. Do it correctly and you are more likely to get the funds needed to make  necessary repairs to your property. If you don’t, however, you could end up having to pay for repairs out of pocket.

Here’s a list of common mistakes to avoid:

Don’t clean up right away. While you may be ready to start to clean up the mess, it is important that you don’t. Your insurance adjuster needs to see the full damage. However, you should clean up if it’s necessary to prevent further damage (like patching a hole in the roof) – just make sure to take as many photographs as you can before doing so.

Don’t wait. Too many people wait too long to file a claim. Some policies have deadlines as short as 180 days, so it’s important to make a claim as soon as you can. If you wait too long, your insurance company can deny your claim.

Don’t forget to keep records. You may end up talking to several people through the course of your claim. It is important that you write down their names and numbers in case you need to get in touch with them again. You should also write down exactly what was talked about during that conversation in the event you ever need to recall it.

Don’t throw anything away. You need to keep all of the damaged items and your personal belongings, as well as any receipts. You may need these during the claims process. Make sure that they are properly documented and the insurance company approves it before you throw anything away.

Don’t start to repair your home before you get approval from your insurance company. Though you may be in a hurry to get your home back to the way that it was, this can be a costly mistake. You have to wait for your insurance company to come out and inspect the damage so that you can decide what the plan is together. If you just start making repairs, there is a good chance that it will come out of your pocket.

Don’t assume that you have to use your insurance company’s contractors. During the claims process, you will meet with an adjuster who will talk you through the damage and repairs needed. They may even help you find the right people to fix your home. You are under no obligation to hire their contractors. You can use whoever you want, as long as they are willing to go through the process with you.

Don’t go through it alone. Most people believe that insurance adjusters are working for you. The truth is that they are working for your insurance company. For this reason, you may want to find an experienced attorney or public adjuster to help you navigate the claims process.

Going through the claims process shouldn’t be difficult.  If you need help with the process or feel like your insurance company has wrongly denied your claim, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced attorneys will be there to help you every step of the way and ensure you get what you are entitled to under your policy.