Homeowner Storm Damage Claim Tips
What Do I Do If My Home Is Inhabitable ?
If your policy provides for Additional Living Expenses, you may be reimbursed
for the increase in cost that is necessary and reasonable to maintain your normal
standard of living when your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
The period of time which you will be reinbursed will be determined by allowances in your policy.
Payments made under the Additional Living Expense provision are in addition
to the applicable coverage policy limits. Ask your agent or catastrophe claim team
member if your policy has this provision.Keep reciepts for additional living expense consideration.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Should I Wait Until Someone Inspects Before Doing Repairs ?
If temporary repairs are needed to prevent further loss to your property, you do
not have to wait for your adjuster to inspect your home or settle your loss.
Temporary repairs must be made to prevent further loss to your property. Most
insurer property policies have a reimbursement provision for reasonable and
necessary temporary repair costs (up to a specified limit) that you incur while
trying to protect your covered property from additional damage resulting from a
What If I Have Damage To My Personal Property ?
If your claim involves personal property and your policy provides coverage for
personal property damages that result from a covered loss, make a list of all
damaged items to give to your claim adjuster. Be sure to include the manufacturers’
names, model numbers, purchase dates and purchase prices. Indicate whether
the items are repairable. To help you organize this information, you can request
a home inventory form from your agent.
The Catastrophe Claim Process
There are many variables that determine how quickly a catastrophe claim can
be resolved. But each claim will typically follow these basic steps:
Step 1: Make a claim
You report a loss and we assign a claim number to track your claim.
Step 2: Talk with a catastrophe claim
A catastrophe claim team member contacts you to answer your questions
and determine the best way to handle your loss.
Step 3: Evaluate the damages for an estimate
Your adjuster evaluates the damages and determines needed repairs and/or
replacement, and prepares an estimate for covered damages.
Step 4: Review your estimate
Your adjuster discusses with you the damage estimate and settlement based
on your policy provisions, terms and coverage.
Step 5: Wrap up your claim
Your adjuster wraps up your claim by sending you appropriate documents
and/or applicable payments and by answering any questions you may have.
After you reported your claim, you received a claim number from your insurer.This number
is how you can access information about your claim.Write this number on all
documents you submit to your insurer, including receipts and descriptions of damaged
items, to help keep important information together with your claim records.
The Claim Process;
When Will Someone inspect My Damage ?
Once a catastrophe claim team member contacts you, they will determine if an
inspection of your damage is needed or if your loss can be settled by phone.
If a damage inspection is needed, a catastrophe claim team member will schedule a
convenient appointment time.
Since catastrophes typically involve many severe claims, appointments are scheduled
based on severity.
How Long Will It Take To Settle My Claim ?
The length of time it takes to complete the claim process depends on several
factors. Although most insurers bring in additional staff to handle the increased claim
volume following a severe weather event or catastrophe, there may be hundreds
or even thousands of customers affected. This, along with the complexity of your
damages,availability of adjusters and safe access to damage areas will contribute to
the length of time it takes to settle your claim.
Your Claim Status;
How Can I Check The Status Of My Claim ?
There are two basic ways to see what is going on with your claim once you’ve
On the phone
You may check the status of your claim by calling your insurer to speak with a catastrophe claim team member.
You can also review your claim status online once you’ve registered and logged in
via Customer Log in at most insurers websites. There you can securely check your claim status,view qualifying claim payments, upload claim documents and exchange
communications with your adjuster.
After your damages are evaluated, an adjuster will create an estimate. Your estimate
includes what needs to be repaired and/or replaced, as well as what is covered
under your policy. Your adjuster can answer any questions you may have about your
Why Is There Depreciation On My Claim ?
Depreciation is typically shown on all estimates for items that are not brand new.
Depreciation is a decrease of the item’s value due to age, wear or market conditions.
Your estimate may include depreciation for items and materials that are being
However, once the replacement of your covered loss has been completed,
you may be able to recover the depreciation amount that was withheld depending
on your policy terms, conditions and exclusions.
What If I Don't Agree With My Insurers Summary ?
Sometimes differences can occur. If you disagree with our damage estimate, please call your claim adjuster. In many instances it could be can resolve the over the phone when warranted for covered damage.
WHAT’S A DEDUCTIBLE?
The deductible is the portion of a covered loss that you are responsible for under your
policy. For example, if your covered claim is $4,500 and your deductible is $500,
your insurer pays $4,000.
When Do I Need To Pay The Deductible And To Whom
The settlement check you receive from your insurer is based on the amount of
your covered loss from the estimate minus your deductible and any applicable
In most cases, you would pay the amount of your deductible directly
to your contractor once repairs are completed.
When Can I Expect a Settlement Check From My Insurer ?
In some cases, the adjuster will provide you with the estimate and check at the time
of inspection. In most instances, however, the adjuster will inspect the damage and
prepare the estimate and, depending on the extent of damages, submit the repair
estimate for approval. Once the estimate is approved, your check and the estimate
will be mailed to you separately.
Why Does The Check I Recieve From My Insurer Include The Name Of My Mortgage Holder ?
If you have a mortgage on your property, the mortgagee usually requires that they
be named on your policy and included on claim payment checks for damages to
your home. You will need to contact your mortgagee to find out how to obtain their
endorsement on the check.
Contractors And Repairs;
How To Select a Contractor.
Selecting a qualified service to handle repairs is important. Here are a few tips
to help you select a contractor.
Talk to friends and family members who have had recent repair work done.
Ask contractors for references and check them.
See that they’re insured
Ask if the contractor carries liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
Check work history
Get information about your contractor’s work history from your local Better
Get it in writing
Require a written contract, including payment terms, and do not sign until
you fully understand the terms.
Can My Claim Adjuster Recommend a Contractor ?
Most insurers will not recommend contractors following a catastrophe because
contractors are often overwhelmed by the number of properties needing repairs.
We recommend you talk to your family and friends to request reliable,
What If My Contractors Estimate Is Different Than The
Insurers Estimate ?
If there is a difference between an insurers and your contractor’s estimates, you or
your contractor should immediately contact your catastrophe claim adjuster. They
will do what they can to resolve the differences and make any necessary adjustments
when they are warranted and only for covered items.
What If Additional Damage Is Found During The Repairs ?
If additional damage is found during the repair process, call your catastrophe claim
adjuster or your insurers immediately to report this.Your caim adjuster will determine if the damage needs to be re-inspected or if it can be resoved by phone with your contractor.
Now That I Have This Claim, Will My Premium Increase ?
There are many factors that go into answering this question, including your policy
coverage, prior claim history, your loss type and how long you have been with
insurer. The best source for the answer is your local insurance agent.
Be aware that these are typical claim issues.Always contact your insurer for a complete list of necessary actions taken by you and your insurer in the event of a catastrophe.
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