After a Fire, Hurricane, Tornado, Water or Flood Damage, Wind / Hail Storm or any other property damage covered or potentially covered by your insurance, things can be chaotic, emotional and often times surreal. Your world has been turned upside down and now you need direction. So we compiled this list to help guide you thru these troubled waters.
May God Bless and comfort you and yours during this time of need.
Insurance Claims Specialist, LLC
1. When appropriate and safe to do so, it’s your responsibility to mitigate any further loss, as per your policy. You typically must secure the property as soon as possible and move belongings in harm’s way to a safe location. If it is possible to secure the structure, and it is safe to do so, remove all valuables to a safe and secure place. You may be reimbursed for the expenses associated with doing so.
2. Locate your Home or Business Owner’s Insurance Policy, ALL PAGES, not just the Declarations (Dec) Page. This will be needed to see what coverage and other responsibilities you have. If you cannot locate this in a timely manner contact your Insurance Agent to file the claim and request a FULL copy of your policy be mailed out immediately or better yet, swing by and pick it up at their office if possible. Get a written confirmation that the claim was filed.
3. If the structure is NO LONGER HABITIBAL find appropriate temporary housing. Bear in mind you may need to reside elsewhere for an extended period of time depending upon the scope of damage and the required time for rebuilding. ALE may cover the cost of this. Keep RECEIPTS for everything, if you can’t prove it, you can’t get reimbursed for it, if applicable.
NOTE: Be sure to take into consideration any special accommodations that may be needed when seeking housing. If you have pets, be sure to take this into account when seeking housing. If necessary, boarding of Pets may be covered by your insurance.
4. You may wish to consider having your mail forwarded to your new location or to a TRUSTED address. You will need to be able to receive your mail on a normal basis. You can go to the post office to do this.
5. This would also be a good time to have your home phone line forwarded to your cell phone if possible so you don’t miss any important calls.
Now’s where it can start to get overwhelming…..
(It’s your responsibility to document and prove your loss)
6. Review your entire insurance policy to learn what is and is not covered. Policies can be and often are confusing and complicated. A typical policy can contain hundreds of exclusions, endorsements, stipulations, provisions and amendments that effect coverage. Insurance Claims Specialist, LLC., a professional State Licensed Public Adjusting Firm can be invaluable to you here. Your insurance policy was drafted by the insurance company, the insurance company’s Adjuster works solely for the best interest of the INSURANCE COMPANY, NOT YOU!!! Keep that in mind.
7. Make a thorough and detailed inventory list of all damaged, destroyed, or affected property. This should include MAKE, MODEL, SERIAL #’s, AGE and REPLACEMENT COST along with any supporting documentation, i.e. receipts, photos, videos, etc…
8. As soon as is practical, if affected, inventory all food products in the refrigerator(s), freezer(s), chill boxes, cabinets, pantries or storage areas so they can be accounted for and disposed of before decomposing and becoming extremely foul. The same as above include the item description, size, brand name etc… TRUST ME… you definitely don’t want to allow Mother Nature to run its natural process before doing so.
9. Be mindful of all restoration, remediation, contracting and cleaning contracts you sign. Remember, you will be obligated to pay them whether the insurance company reimburses you or not. Know what you are getting and what the cost is. Get COPIES of everything you sign and make sure they signed it also.
10. Keep and maintain a running log of all expenses associated with the loss, any additional living expenses and ALL conversations. Notate date, time, who you spoke with and what the conversation was about.
11. Keep copies of ALL Documents and receipts relating to the loss. Also, keep copies of any business cards you’ve been given. You may need that information later.
12. Ask for all proposals or settlement offers made to you by the insurance company to be in writing. Get everything that you can in writing. You may need it later to refer back to.
13. Notify the lender and insurance carrier as soon as possible if you intend to rebuild since your policy may have a 180 day requirement to do so.
14. BE PATIENT!!!! This is an emotional and nerve racking process that will test your patience to the end. The insurance companies know this and they know it works to their benefit. It’s your money, by settling prematurely you could be putting thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars back into your insurance company’s pockets. Guess whose pockets it’ll be coming out of……. YOURS?
15. You may wish to consider contacting us. Why? Because we’re a Maryland State Licensed Public Adjusting Firm. What is a Public Adjuster? Public Adjusters are professional Insurance Claims Handling Experts for property loss adjustment who are retained by policyholders to assist in preparing, filing, adjusting / estimating, documenting and negotiating insurance claims. Employed exclusively by a policyholder (YOU) who has sustained an insured loss, we manage every detail of the claim, working closely with YOU, The INSURED, to obtain the most equitable and prompt settlement possible. As Public Adjuster’s we inspect the loss site immediately, analyze the damages, assist in initiating policy required loss mitigation requirements, assemble claim support data, process paperwork, develop detailed Repair or Replacement estimates, document damage and INVENTORY contents, review the insured’s coverage, determine current replacement
costs and exclusively serve the client, not the insurance company.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just don’t know what to do or feel your claim has been low-balled (underpaid), mishandled, un-necessarily delayed or even wrongfully denied by your Insurance Company, please feel free to contact us 24/7 to discuss your claim, concerns and needs.
Whatever the loss, Insurance Claims Specialist, LLC. is here to help. We’re State Licensed Advocates that work exclusively for you, the Home / Business Owner (The Insured), to ensure that you receive the fullest benefit possible from your insurance company based on your policy, thus maximizing your settlement so you may properly Rebuild, Repair, Replace and / or Clean your property. Our knowledge and expertise makes your life much easier.