Every year, various catastrophic weather events impact Florida causing extensive damage to homes and businesses. Whether it may be a tornado in North Florida, hail and wind damage near Tampa, or a hurricane, many residents are unsure on what to do or how to report a claim to their insurance company. Well your in luck! This blog, will provide you with helpful tips in reporting a claim to your insurance carrier.
- You will need to report the claim. This might seem obvious, but prompt reporting of damage to your property is essential and will only assist in obtaining a successful outcome.
- Safety First! If your home is in the midst of a tornado or hurricane, please wait until the storm subsides before inspecting the damage and reporting a claim to your insurance carrier.
- Clearly communicate with your insurance carrier what happened. When you call to report the claim it is always helpful to write down a script or an outline as to what exactly happened. Also, note who you spoke to at your insurance company, the number your called in on, the date and time and the claim number. If you cannot get through to the claims department, continue trying and note each time you call. Also, calling on your cellphone will enable you to have a physical note as to when you call, how long the conversation lasted and the number of attempts in reporting your claim.
- Try to be as specific as possible. When reporting the claim, describe the areas of the property that suffered damage. However, be conscious in using general terms like mold, flood, rust and decay. Certain terminology might trigger policy exclusions that would exclude coverage, when in reality then do not apply to your claim.
- Ask your insurance company what should you do to mitigate your damage. Are there certain policy conditions you need to abide by before hiring a contractor or possible an emergency water mitigation company. If your insurance company offers to send a preferred vendor to assist in mitigating your damages, note who is coming to the property, their name and contact information.
- Take pictures, videos, draw a diagram and then take more pictures. Evidence of damage immediately after it occurs is essential! Photographs can be extremely helpful if your insurance company attempts to deny your claim for pre-existing damage or other exclusions. Videos are also extremely helpful. If you have an active pipe leak or there is hail impacting your property, video evidence will assist in obtaining a favorable coverage decision or will assist in the litigation of your claim.
- Try to preserve damaged property to show your insurance company’s adjuster when he inspects the loss. If the adjuster inspects your property and he cannot see physical damage to your home or business, this may impact your claim in a negative way. Therefore, think before you dispose of any damaged drywall, cabinets and importantly personal property.
When you home or business sustains damage from a natural disaster or a pipe break, the majority of policyholders do not know what to do. The stressful and overwhelming experience of reporting and participating with the adjustment of your insurance claim can be alleviated by hiring a Licensed Florida Public Adjuster. This individual is similar to the representative sent to your property to inspect and adjust your claim. However, they are your expert and will advocate for you in obtaining a favorable claim decision. You can find a qualified public adjuster by searching the member directory at FAPIA.net.