Getting Insurance Company Help After a Disaster
Disaster strikes. You've got major damage to your home in York County. Fortunately, you have good insurance. But the way you work with your insurance company and its claim adjuster can make a big difference in whether you get your claim approved and receive appropriate reimbursement for the damage. Here are some tips from the Insurance Information Institute.
Start by contacting your homeowner's insurance representative. Ask your insurance rep:
- Whether the damage is covered under the terms of your policy.
- How long you have to file your claim.
- Whether your claim exceeds your insurance deductible (the amount of loss you agree to pay before insurance kicks in)
- How long it will take to process the insurance claim
- Whether you'll need estimates for repairs
Your insurance agent or representative is not the person who will come to your home to inspect the damage. Damage assessment is done by an insurance claim adjuster. Your rep will put you in touch with a claim adjuster from the insurance company. You'll need to prepare for the adjuster's visit.
Preparing for the Adjuster's Visit
Your insurance company may send you a proof of loss form to complete or the claim adjuster may visit your home first. (An adjuster is a person professionally trained to assess damage.) In either case, the more information you have about your damaged possessions - a description of the item, approximate date of purchase and what it would cost to replace or repair - the faster your claim generally can be settled by the insurance company.
To substantiate your loss, prepare an inventory of damaged or destroyed items. Give a copy to the insurance adjuster along with copies of any receipts. Don't throw out damaged items until the adjuster visits you. You should also consider photographing or videotaping the damage. If your property was destroyed or you no longer have any records, work from memory.
Identify structural damage to your home and other structures such as your garage, tool shed, patio, or in-ground swimming pool. Make a list of everything you want to show the adjuster, for example, cracks in the walls and missing roof tiles. You should also get your electrical system checked. Most insurance companies pay for these inspections.
Get written bids from licensed contractors. The bids should include details of the materials to be used and prices on a line-by-line basis. This makes adjusting the claim faster and simpler.
Keep copies of the lists and other documents you submit to your insurance company. Also keep copies of whatever paperwork your insurance company gave you and record the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak to.
Flood Damage Often Excluded
Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available as a separate policy from the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from a few private insurers. The NFIP provides coverage up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for personal possessions. Flood insurance claims should be filed with your homeowners insurance company.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (803) 324-5780
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a cleaning or restoration need, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Fort Mill, SC community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.