Written by Andy Gurczak

August 6, 2022

Understanding the Insurance Claims Process

Understanding the Insurance Claims Process

If a hurricane, storm or fire damages your home or business, you will file a property damage claim with your homeowners’ or business insurance company. Of course, property damage claims can be complicated to the insured person. However, understanding the insurance claims process will make your experience dealing with the insurance company much more bearable.

What Should You Do First?

Well, the first thing to do is make sure you and your family are safe.

After that, report the loss to the insurance company. Your policy has time periods within which you must file the claim. But don’t wait! The sooner you report the claim, the sooner the claims process can begin.

One important tip: take lots of pictures! Pictures of damage to house, such as standing water, smoke and soot stains from a fire, holes in your roof from fallen trees. In addition, take pictures of furniture or appliance that were damaged.

For the appliances, get a picture of the make and model number.

Moreover, if you are throwing out property that you can’t repair, take pictures before you dispose of those damaged items.

Prepare for a Visit from the Insurance Adjuster

The insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage to your property. Make sure he sees ALL your damaged property. Take him room by room to show him the damages to the property caused by the fire or hurricane.

When Do You Get Claims Payments by the Insurance Company?

You may very well get a check from the insurance adjuster when he comes to inspect your home. This is not the final payment. However, they will deduct the early payment from the final settlement.

If you can’t stay in your home while it is being repaired, you’ll also get a check for the additional living expenses (ALE) you incur.

Typically, when both the structure of your home and your personal belongings are damaged, you separate checks from your insurance company. One check for the structural damage and one for the personal property loss.

Remember, these initial checks are an advance against the total settlement amount, not the final payment.

However, if you’re offered an on-the-spot settlement, you can accept the check right away. But if you later find other damage, you can later file a claim for the damage.

Do You Have a Mortgage? Do You Own a Condo?

Usually, if you have a mortgage on your house, they will make the check for repairs out to both you and the bank. As a condition of granting a mortgage, lenders usually require that the homeowners’ policy names them.

If your home was destroyed, the amount of the settlement and who gets it is driven by your policy and the terms of your mortgage.

For example, part of the insurance proceeds may pay off the balance due on the mortgage.

Or the mortgage company will put the money for repairs put in an escrow account and pay as contractors complete the repairs.

Additionally, the spending of the remaining proceeds depends on your own decisions. Do you want to rebuild on the same lot, in a different location or not rebuild at all?

Some contractors may ask you to sign a “direction to pay” form that allows your insurance company to pay the firm directly.

When work is completed to restore your property, make certain they have completed the job to your satisfaction. Of course, do this before you let your insurer make the final payment to the contractor.

Even if you have a replacement value policy, the first check you receive from your insurer will be based on the cash value of the items. This is the depreciated amount based on the age of the item.

In fact, insurance companies do this to match the remaining claim payment to the exact replacement cost. Therefore, if you decide not to replace an item, you’ll only be paid the actual cash value for the item.

Indeed, to get fully reimbursed for damaged items, most insurance companies will require you to purchase replacements. Therefore, your carrier will ask for copies of receipts.

After they get the receipts, they pay the difference between the cash value you initially received and the full cost to replace the items with an item of similar size and quality.

If You Need a Public Adjuster for a Property Damage Insurance Claim, Call AllCity Adjusting

We understand the insurance claims process.

At AllCity Adjusting we work to ensure you get 100% of your property damage insurance claim value. Equally important, with over 50 years of combined experience as insurance adjusters, we know insurance companies and understand where they cut corners.

Therefore, if you have filed a claim but only received a low-ball offer from the insurance company, or they are taking too long to process your claim, or you just want to talk to someone on your side, call us at 844.692.3587. Or you can email us at info@allcityadhjusting.com.

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Best way to beat the insurance company is to hire AllCity Adjusting

At AllCity Adjusting we help residential and commercial clients alike get the claims support they need. Moreover, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping get our clients the max settlement time and time again. If your claim has been low balled or denied entirely we can help increase your maximum settlement. Call us today for a FREE consultation. Experience the AllCity difference.

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