When your home has been damaged by a fire or flood, you can have a big task ahead of you. Filing an insurance claim can be a complicated process, and damage from a fire or flood can be very expensive and time-consuming to repair.
If you are faced with filing a major home insurance claim, there are ways you can make life easier for yourself and ensure that you get a fair settlement from the insurance company. These tips can help you navigate your insurance claim.
#1 Contact an Insurance Lawyer or Public Adjuster
There is a lot that can go wrong with a large insurance claim. The more significant your claim, the more motivated the insurance company may be to mitigate their own costs.
Receiving a low offer from the insurance company can feel devastating. One of the most common complaints consumers have about their insurers is the unsatisfactory claim amounts offered to them.
If you have received a low offer, you do not have to accept it right away. You may want to speak to an insurance lawyer or a public adjuster who can help you review your claim and work with the insurance company to put forth a fair offer.
For more information on insurance lawyers or public adjusters, visit ViraniLaw.ca and see how a professional can help you with your claim. You can contact an insurance lawyer before or after you have received an offer from the insurance company. They can help make the process easier.
#2 Review Your Long-Form Insurance Policy
Filing your claim can be much simpler when you understand what your policy should cover. You can request your long-form insurance policy from the insurer at any time, and you may want to do it early on in the process.
Check your coverage limits for various sections of your policy. Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurance company will provide to recover from a loss, regardless of the total cost in the end.
There are also details such as how the insurance company will calculate your loss, all covered in your long-form policy. You should be familiar with this document as you navigate your claims process. It will help you know what questions to ask the insurance company.
#3 Document the Losses Yourself
Shortly after the fire or flood, you should document the losses yourself in case there is a dispute down the line in the process. Once the fire department has informed you that it is safe to return to your home, take photos and videos of the damage to the structure of your home and lost contents.
#4 Take Your Time with Your Schedule of Loss
One of the tasks you will have to complete as part of the insurance process is the Schedule of Loss. This document is a comprehensive list of belongings damaged in the loss. You will have to submit it to your insurer and sign off on the final version.
Remembering all of your lost belongings can be a difficult task. You may be able to give yourself more time by submitting a provisional Schedule of Loss to get the process started. Once you sign off on a final version, you cannot revise the document.
#5 Keep Track of Receipts for Living Expenses
Finally, keep all of your receipts for living expenses incurred while your home is uninhabitable and being repaired. Store them digitally or in a dedicated folder so that you can easily submit them to your insurance company.
A large insurance claim can be a complicated process. These tips can help make the process easier and help you secure a better offer.