Insurance Claims For House Damage: What You Need to Know
Disasters happen that can affect your home: fires, floods, storms, and mold infestation. Thankfully, when these things happen, you probably have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place that should cover the costs of repair.
But having the policy in place and having to utilize the policy are two different things. While having the policy gives you peace of mind while everything is fine, when disaster strikes, you are suddenly faced with having to go through the insurance claims process, and that can add stress to an already stressful situation.
Under these circumstances, wouldn’t it be better if you could just focus on putting your life back together and restoring your family home, rather than having the headache of figuring out what your insurance company needs in order for you to utilize your coverage? Well, when you hire the right restoration company, you can delegate some of the insurance claim work to them, and trust them to get it right.
Here are some tips on what to do when disaster strikes, to make sure you will get the maximum amount of benefits available under your insurance policy.
Don't Attempt To Clean Up
Jumping right in to try to clean up a mess or poke around the damage is the number one mistake homeowners make before notifying their insurance company and filing a claim. As hard as it may be in the midst of disaster, calling your insurance company is critical. Most insurance companies have a claims specialist available at all times and, in many cases, their instructions or advice will be helpful, especially when the gravity of the situation makes it hard to think clearly or to make decisions.
Going through your things and cleaning up is very tempting, especially when you are worried about what you can salvage and what you may have lost. But the best course is to leave everything as is and wait for the experts. This is especially important if the house is in such a state that you could risk injury if you enter the structure.
If you know it is safe, it is okay to take some basic emergency measures, such as draining excess water in a flooded part of the house before it does more damage, or safeguarding your valuables. These steps can be accomplished without causing much disturbance. But you don’t want to alter the scene in a way that will hinder the ability of the claims specialist to inspect and assess the damage properly.
If you need to do anything major, take photos first. Make sure they fully capture the extent of the damage by taking multiple photos from different angles, both close up and from a distance. In the absence of a physical inspection, you need to be sure you have sufficient evidence to back up any damage claims that you file with your insurance company.
Contact a Professional Restoration Company Right Away
By law, it is your right to choose the restoration company that performs the restoration work; you do not need to wait for your insurance company to send you a list of approved vendors. So, as soon as you have notified the insurance company, call a professional restoration company that can respond immediately, no matter what time of day or night. They can do a professional evaluation and, if necessary, take steps to prevent further damage. They also understand what insurance companies need, and will make sure that any steps they take are well-documented and justified by the situation.
For example, if a fire or flood has damaged any structural parts of your home or to the roof, waiting may cause a ceiling to collapse, a wall to cave in, or more damage to occur from exposure to the elements. A licensed company whose staff are trained and certified, will respond appropriately, by shoring up the structure, for example, or tarping the roof. Preventing further damage means that your repair will be finished more quickly and more cost-effectively.
Work with the Professional Restoration Company to Navigate the Claims Process
Unlike you, the experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene have extensive experience dealing with house restorations after a disaster has struck, not only as to restoring your home but in dealing with insurance paperwork. We’re used to all the forms, all the legal language, and all the documentation, and we’ll do a lot of the “heavy lifting” throughout the insurance claims process so that you can get your house and your life back in working order as soon as possible.
When you trust the experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to handle your restoration, our goal is to make your house look and feel like the damage never even happened and, in working with your insurance, we’ll also try to make your bank account look the same. Contact us today at SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to speak with one of our damage repair specialists.