Weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes and floods can be devastating. Your insurance claim process doesn’t have to be. There are ways to be prepared for disaster and steps to take when it strikes. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin. CJ Claim Services is here to help. By following these eight tips for navigating your property damage insurance claim, you’ll stay organized and feel in control during this chaotic time. With over 15 years of experience, we know claims. Now take a deep breath and let’s get started.
Tip # 1: Know Your Policy
Read your insurance policy in detail. Are there any gaps in coverage? In the event of an emergency, you want to ensure you have what you need. Pay attention to details like how long you have to file a claim and deductible amounts. Knowledge is power and your first step in maximizing your claim. Be sure to contact your insurance agent with any questions.
Tip # 2: Create a Home Inventory List
Ideally, you know what you own and what it is worth before you need to file a claim. Create a home inventory list by documenting your possessions and their values. Take photos and/or videos. Save receipts. You’ll be required to provide these details when you submit an insurance claim. If you take stock of your property now and on a routine basis, you’ll save yourself time and stress in the event of a catastrophe.
Tip #3: Document All Damage
This step is crucial. After you experience damage to your property, document everything with photos and/or videos. Try to capture every detail with good lighting and multiple angles. Use the list you’ve already created to record any losses. Save all damaged items because an Insurance Adjuster may want to see this evidence. If you need to temporarily relocate, be sure to save all receipts including those for food and other necessities.
Tip #4: Be Timely When Filing
Insurance policies often state that you have up to one year to file a claim. But if you are dealing with the after-effects of a major storm, there are probably a lot of people looking to file. Don’t get lost in the shuffle. The faster you get to work, in a perfect world, the faster you may receive your settlement.
Tip #5: Lessen the Impact of Catastrophic Damage
Make temporary repairs to items that need immediate fixes like broken windows and areas with leaks. Waiting for your adjuster before you act can result in further damage and put you and your property at risk. Again, save all receipts and reports for reimbursement claims and be sure to work with accredited contractors and restoration companies.
Tip #6: Get Estimates and Get Started
It’s always a best practice to get assessments from multiple contractors. Make sure to do your due diligence and gather full scope of work, bids, and estimates. Every contractor should provide reviews and references. Comparing projected costs for big projects with estimates from your Insurance Adjuster is also a good idea. If there is a major discrepancy between contractor and Insurance Adjuster costs, think about hiring a Public Adjuster who can serve as your advocate and help maximize your claim.
Tip #7: Track and Document Everything
It’s imperative to document all communications between you and your contractors, insurance companies, adjusters and others. Keep any reports or receipts in an accessible file and save your emails and voicemails. This way, if you run into any problems, or find yourself in a disagreement with your Insurance Adjuster, you will have easy access to the data and information that backs up your claim.
Tip #8: Hire a Reputable Public Adjuster
Public Adjusters advocate for you when you face property damage or a major weather event. If you face major damage, don’t navigate the process alone, hire a Private Adjuster.
About CJ Claim Services
Our expert team at CJ Claim Services helps you navigate the insurance claim process. We fight for fair and balanced settlements for policyholders. If you’ve suffered property damage, we’ve got you covered! Whether you have a new claim, a previously denied claim, or you’d like an expert opinion on a previously underfunded claim, we can help. Contact us today at 504-252-8204 for a free assessment!