Every year, around one in every twenty homeowners, file a property damage claim. Damages range from fire due to incidents in the kitchen to roofs dealing with hurricane damage and issues from cast iron pipe leaks in older homes. Home damage is a normal part of owning a home, and so is filing a claim with your insurance company.
However, most people don’t know where to start when filing a claim with their insurance company, and that’s where a public adjuster comes in!
Let’s talk about the ins and outs of filing an insurance claim for property damage and how having a public adjuster on your side can save you time and help you get the largest possible settlement on your claim.
The steps for filing a claim if you’re doing it on your own:
- Locate the phone number of your insurance company’s claim department. This can be found on the declarations page of your policy. Most states actually require this, but if yours doesn’t… there’s always the internet!
- Explain the cause of loss. Your policy only covers damage caused by a covered cause of loss. One example is in the case of water damage, where just telling your insurer that water is covering your floor from a leak isn’t enough. You have to also locate the actual source of the leak. Anything else may receive a denial outright.
- Determine the date of when the loss occurred. Here’s where taking photo or video documentation comes in handy. Having the date is necessary because it shows whether or not your loss happened under your current policy year or the previous one. (And if you’ve switched insurance policies, you’d need to file the claim with your previous company.)
- Your insurance company may ask you what you’ve done about your cause of loss. This becomes about your obligations under the insurance policy and can cost you your claim. If you had a leaking pipe, did you turn off your water? Did you call a plumber?
- You’ll need to provide evidence of the problem and that it was fixed or managed in some way. This means receipts from a plumber or other contractors and/or the thing that was damaged.
- Meet with an insurance adjuster – who may be assigned to you but ultimately works for the insurance company – for an inspection.
- You’ll submit a list of damaged or destroyed items to your insurance company along with their value. You’ll also want to submit estimates about what has to be repaired.
- You have to stay in regular contact with your insurance company as you wait to hear back on the results of your claim.
What happens after the claim is filed?
You may think that once you file a claim, the insurance company will take care of everything, and you’ll be back to normal in no time. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. In fact, the process of dealing with an insurance company after filing a claim can be downright frustrating.
It can be nearly impossible to get in touch with someone from the insurance company. You may have to leave multiple voicemails, send multiple emails, and wait on hold for what feels like an eternity just to speak to someone. And when you do finally get through, you may find that the person you’re speaking with is less than helpful. They may ask for more information or documentation, which can take weeks or even months to gather. And even after you’ve provided everything they’ve asked for, they may still take a long time to make a decision on your claim.
When they do finally make a decision, it may not be in your favor. They may deny your claim outright, or they may offer you a settlement that is significantly less than what you need to cover the damage to your property. This can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening, especially when you’ve paid your insurance premiums for years.
How can a public adjuster help save you time and energy?
When filing a property damage claim, it can be overwhelming to navigate the process on your own. Hiring a public adjuster can save you both time and money in the long run.
A public adjuster is an expert in the field of insurance claims.
They understand the ins and outs of the claims process and can help you navigate the often complex and confusing paperwork and documentation required. This can save you a significant amount of time and energy, allowing you to focus on other important aspects of your life.
A public adjuster will work on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair and just settlement for your claim.
They will thoroughly review your policy and assess the damage to your property, working with experts such as engineers and contractors to estimate the cost of repairs. This means that you can have confidence that you are receiving the maximum payout possible for your claim.
A public adjuster will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
They will advocate for you to ensure that your claim is handled in a timely and efficient manner. This can save you a lot of stress and frustration, as well as potentially increase the amount of your settlement.
A public adjuster will handle all the communication with the insurance company, so you don’t have to.
This can save you a significant amount of time and energy, as well as take the pressure off you during an already stressful time.
If you’ve recently experienced property damage and are filing an insurance claim, it’s important to understand that insurance companies are in the business of making money. They are not necessarily on your side and may not have your best interests in mind.
Unlike insurance adjusters, who work for the insurance company, public adjusters are independent and have no vested interest in lowballing your claim. They will thoroughly review your policy and assess the damage to your property, working with experts such as engineers and contractors to estimate the cost of repairs.
When you notice that you have damage – or when you suspect that you have an insurance claim in the making – give Bulldog Adjusters a call!
Here’s where Bulldog Adjusters makes it easy for homeowners
First, our adjuster will inspect your home and review your insurance policy. The goal of the initial inspection is to decide what kind of claim you have and how we can help.
Once our adjuster determines if they can assist with the claim, they’ll then scope the property and provide our claims processing team with photographs and measurements of the damages. Our team will then file the claim on your behalf complete with full details regarding your damages.
Imagine trying to call five different companies to get estimates for all of the damage on various parts of your home. If you don’t know exactly what damage you have, you might miss out on a specific type of damage and then, without an estimate, lose out on other areas that may be covered.
Our team will keep you informed, schedule any inspections with the insurance company’s adjuster according to your schedule, and make sure that communication with your insurance company is consistent and ongoing.
Reach out to Bulldog Adjusters at 800-806-3044, or contact us online! Our local and experienced adjusters will come out to do a RISK-FREE inspection and policy review so that you’ll know what the best option is for your claim.
We make sure that you know everything that you’ll need to keep your family organized and safe in the time before, during, and after a storm hits!