Catastrophic weather events in the United States are on the rise – hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, ice storms – all cause significant property damage to owners. The toll is both financial and emotional for individuals dealing with the aftermath.
Here are some tips to help you get through the insurance claims process a bit easier – it’s all about being proactive.
- Inventory your contents. Whether it’s a commercial or personal insurance policy– in order for you to recover the cost of lost property, you need to know exactly what you have and the replacement cost. Timely to do so? Absolutely, but you’ll be grateful you did in the event of a loss. Video tape your building and contents – save it to the cloud. Save receipts for purchases – the more detailed you are, the better off you will be.
- Understand what your insurance policy covers before the loss. From building and personal property coverage to deductibles and most importantly what your carrier will cover for you to live elsewhere, or to do business elsewhere while your building is being rebuilt or repaired.
- KNOW how long you have to file a claim – there are limits.
- Have your insurance agent and insurance carriers contact information on your phone.
- Have copies of all your insurance policies in the cloud. You want to easily access them.
- After the loss – call your agent first and make reasonable temporary repairs to prevent further damage. The job of your insurance agent is to help you navigate your claim with the carrier – use them! Even if you have already filed a claim with your carrier, it’s wise to contact your agent for support.
- Keep a Claims Diary. Document every conversation with adjusters and contractors so you have a timeline to refer to. In very complex claims, it’s important to understand how you will be reimbursed for repairs and property. Ask the questions, record the answers.
- Ask the adjuster if you need estimates for repairs approved prior to them being done.
- Remember Flood Damage is EXCLUDED from traditional property insurance coverage. You’ll need a separate flood insurance policy
- You may have a separate Wind or Hurricane deductible on top of your regular deductible. There’s a big difference between a Tropical Storm and a Hurricane when it comes to insurance deductibles.
The best thing you can do is be prepared, before a storm hits your area and be diligent with documenting the claims process after the loss.
If you have any questions about your property insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our licensed insurance brokers at Power Risk Management in one of our 3 convenient Illinois or Colorado locations.
Chicago Office: 5343 W. Devon Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60646 | 773-273-8777
Bourbonnais Office: 1410 Argyle Ln N, Bourbonnais, IL 60914 | 815-922-4754
Denver Office: 1400 16th Street, Suite 400, Denver, Colorado 80202 | 720-779-1190
*The content in this article is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.