Insurance Claims After a Natural Disaster
When disaster hits, you can feel helpless and overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with your homeowner’s insurance provider. No need to fear! In this article we will cover the steps you need to take immediately after the disaster hit, factors that determine the amount of settlement you may receive, and other components associated with this process.
First things first, you will want to contact your agent and find out whether the damage is covered under the terms of your policy, how long you have to file a claim, whether it exceeds your deductible, how long it will take to process the claim, and whether you will need estimates for repairs. In the mean time, you will want to make temporary repairs to protect your property from further damage. Compile as much information you have about damaged possessions as possible. Ensure that you keep all receipts, especially in the even that you need to relocate.
If the claim involves flood damage, know that this is generally excluded under standard homeowners insurance policies. Flood coverage 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.
Factors that determine the amount of settlement you may receive include the type of policy you have, policy limits, temporary living expenses, and total rebuild versus making repairs. Review your policy and determine if it is a replacement cost policy or actual cash value policy. Most insurance providers have adequate coverage that includes an inflation-guard clause, but you may not be fully covered if you have made significant improvements on your home without informing the insurance company at the time of change.
Most policies require claims to be filed within one year from the date of the disaster. That being said, many homeowners will want their structure repaired as soon as possible, putting enormous demands on insurance company personnel. Due to time constraints, the first check you get from your insurance company is often an advance based on a rough first estimate. If offered an on-the-spot settlement, you can accept the check right away and later on reopen the claim if you find other damage.
Natural disasters can be a time of undue stress, but professionals such as Charles Martin and Son Roofing understand homeowner’s needs. If you have just been through a disaster that left your home in shambles, don’t fret. We will work with you and your insurance company to get your through the claim process! Contact us for a free estimate and to learn more about our products and services today!