After a major storm, the difficult process of rebuilding your home—and your life—begins after you are out of harm’s way. And the sooner you reach out to those who can help, the sooner you’ll experience relief. We are here to help you with how to submit a storm damage claim!
Speak with your insurer
Contacting your homeowners insurance agent should be your first step. Your insurance requires you to file a claim as soon as possible, and the process begins with getting in touch with the insurer. In addition to the assistance provided by nonprofit organizations, your state, or the federal government, that person may also be able to help you immediately obtain financial support.
For example, this year many Hurricane Ian victims who were forced to relocate were able to receive money from their homeowners insurance carriers almost away, without the normal paperwork, to assist cover the cost of living abroad. Additional Living Expenses (ALE) insurance is the term used to describe the coverage, which is typically included in homeowner and renter policies. According to Michael Barry, a representative for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry association, the majority of homeowners insurance companies haven’t demanded proof of home damage following recent significant catastrophes before sending initial checks to customers.
Do your research
In order to make your house habitable or to stop additional damage, the insurance might provide you advice on what repairs you need to undertake immediately away.
Check the local Better Business Bureau for complaints and other information, regardless of where the plumber is from. Additionally, local review websites for consumer services may have testimonials.
Even if the insurer immediately sends you a check for that emergency work, you might first need to cover the cost. Keep receipts in either case so you can submit them with your claim in the future. According to what Barry has observed, “some insurers may need proof that a home is not livable, but they are in the minority.”
Get Coverage Information
Find out what is covered by your policy when you speak with your agent or the insurance provider. On the website of the insurance, it’s likely on your account page as well.
A typical homes insurance coverage pays for both structural and personal property damage, less a deductible. The type of coverage you have will determine how much you receive. Without taking into account the depreciation of the original things, “replacement cost” coverage should cover the expense of fixing or replacing your home and any lost or damaged possessions at today’s rates. After depreciation is taken into account, “Actual Cash Value” coverage will reimburse you the combined value of your home and any damaged things inside.
A good property service contractor like Zenith will help guide you through this process and ensure that you are completing everything correctly and optimally.
Record every transaction you make.
Continue to communicate with the adjuster via email or text after the appointment so that you have a record of everything you said. Keep track of missed appointments, missed calls, topics addressed, and even whether the adjuster was obnoxious. Even though you’re unlikely to need it, this information will be helpful if any disputes need to be settled in court.
Make copies of any paperwork, including anything you give the adjuster, such your list of the items that were damaged or lost. If the adjuster suggests that you have repairs made, ask for written authorization.
Think about contacting a public adjuster
A public adjuster, who works for you and represents you throughout the process, may be able to help if your claim is very significant. But be mindful of costs. A public adjuster’s fees may be limited in some states, usually to 10 to 12 percent of the insurance settlement. Other states do not have percentage restrictions, and adjusters instead bill on an hourly or fixed rate basis.
Zenith Inc recommends using AK Public Adjusters in Maryland and Delaware. Every step of the way, AK Public Adjusters will be there to assist you in stress-free resolution of your property insurance claim. They’ll guide you through each stage of the claim procedure and take the pressure off of your shoulders.
Become ready for the adjuster
An adjuster will be assigned by the insurance company to inspect the damage and provide an estimate for consideration. Since the start of the epidemic, adjusters have done more and more of their job remotely, accepting videos and photographs directly from policyholders’ phones and corresponding via smartphone apps like FaceTime, Google Meet, and Skype.
The adjuster may ask you to move from room to room while recording video on your phone throughout the appointment, detailing the damage and zooming in and out to highlight its context and magnitude.