As a property owner, seeing severe damage being inflicted to your home or business is stressful and tolling. Regardless of whether it was an accident, or a result of a natural disaster, it can be heartbreaking to find that you’re left displaced until repairs are completed. At this point, your next step should be to file a property damage claim, so the payments on property repairs aren’t all out-of-pocket. However, you may have to deal with a property damage claims adjuster before you can earn compensation.
But what is a property damage claim, and what does the process entail? And for that matter, what is a property damage claims adjuster? Below, we answer all of these questions and more.
What is a Property Damage Claim?
Although your insured property may have been damaged by a recent fire, a falling tree, or a recent accident, there is some form of compensation you can look forward to when you file a property damage claim. “What is a property claim?” you may ask.
A property damage claim, or a property claim, is a formal request for compensation that you file if valuable property, one covered by an insurance policy, has been damaged. Here, the term ‘damage’ encompasses plenty of things, from a broken window to a flooded basement. It can also cover somewhat intentional acts such as acts of vandalism such as graffiti. Regardless of the scale and extent of the damage, you are still entitled to some form of compensation when these actions result in some damage to your property.
What is a Property Damage Claims Adjuster?
Now that we’ve answered the first question, “what is a property claim?” Let’s move on to the following question: “What is a property damage claims adjuster?”.
A property claims adjuster represents the insurance company and is sent over once a claim is submitted to verify each claim. During the investigation process, they perform several tasks, including inspecting the extent of the damage to the property, reviewing police reports (if any), speaking to witnesses to verify claims, and talking to property owners to discuss the specifics of a claim.
Types of Property Damage Claims
There are four types of property damage claims that you can file and receive compensation for, which include:
- Residential Property Damage Claims. Claims on damage to residential property are one of the most common types of claims being filed at insurance companies. In the event of a natural disaster such as a fire, or a tree falling on your home due to strong winds, then most insurance companies should cover this immediately. However, when the damage occurs as a result of someone’s negligent actions, then you may need to head to court to seek compensation from the other party.
- Commercial Property Damage Claims. Damage to commercial property is typically included in most business insurance policies. These can include damage to the actual property, general liability, and loss of income due to business interruption. In most cases, however, the goal of each insurance company is to pay as little of it as possible, making commercial property claims more tedious to deal with.
- Motor Vehicle Damage Claims. When you get involved in an accident while on the road, the responsible party should be obligated to compensate you for the cost of repairs or pay you the current market value of your vehicle. Otherwise, your auto insurance should cover the damage.
- Personal Property Damage Claims. Aside from damage to real property and your car, you can also seek damage claims for damage to personal property. These can include personal items like electronics, jewelry, furniture, and decorative items, among other things.
What Does House Insurance Cover?
We’ve talked about the claims process. But what does house insurance cover, exactly? Well, most home insurance policies provide comprehensive coverage when it comes to damage to your property, regardless of the source of the damage, as long as it’s not intentional. These can include a variety of reasons, as mentioned above.
Liability coverage also covers different aspects of your home, such as your bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. This cover can also extend to your possessions such as your furniture, clothing, and even your home heating and cooling system. Outdoor possessions such as your fireplace, swing set, garden, fences, or lawn are also covered in your house insurance policy.
In most cases, most home insurance policies also cover swimming pools and other recreational equipment. However, you may need additional liability coverage for such items, so it’s best to check your policy to know what is covered and what is not.
It is also important to note that if you have been displaced due to the damage to your home, you can seek reimbursement for expenses incurred while renting a living space while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Most home insurance policies cover living expenses during home repairs, so it is important to check your policy details to know how much coverage you can expect.
Find a Luxury Dwelling While You Wait
Being displaced by significant damage to your property can be incredibly difficult and stressful for you and your family. Having to deal with repairs to your home and an arduous property damage claim process can further add to your stress.
One way to relieve the stress during the waiting period is to find a luxury rental space so you and your family can rest comfortably during this challenging time. Atlanta Luxury Rentals offers comfortable rental spaces for you to have a space that you can call home while you wait for the claims process to push through and the repairs on your home to complete.
When you are confronted with a disaster that has caused considerable damage to your property, it understandably feels overwhelming. At that point in time, you just want to get your life back on track and have things get back to normal, so your first instinct is to begin the repair process immediately.
But if your house is insured, you may want to hold off on all repairs if you haven’t begun the property damage insurance claims process. Filing a claim is crucial to see to it that you don’t have to cover all the expenses of having your home repaired or rebuilt.
In this blog, we will discuss what happens when you make a home insurance claim and what you can expect during property and casualty insurance claims processing. Here’s everything you need to know about the property damage insurance claims process.
How Does a Homeowners Insurance Claim Work?
You might be wondering: “how does a homeowners insurance claim work?” Property and casualty insurance claims processing entails a few steps that you have to follow, beginning with filing a claim before you can start claiming compensation for damage to your home. The form of payment and the extent of coverage you receive will differ according to your policy. Depending on your policy, you may be entitled to:
- The actual value of the damaged property minus the cost of depreciation.
- The total cost for the replacement of damaged property without subtracting depreciation.
- The guaranteed replacement of the damaged property, regardless of current value.
Before filing a claim, check whether your homeowner’s insurance covers the type of damage dealt to your property. In most cases, a basic homeowner’s policy won’t cover natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, or other “acts of God.” These events will require special riders or a separate policy for coverage.
After verifying the amount of coverage you’re getting, you can then begin the claims process by reporting the damage to your insurance company. Next, you should take pictures of the damage while exercising caution not to touch anything for documentation. These pictures will be required later on.
What Happens When You Make a Home Insurance Claim?
Filing a home insurance claim is the first step that you take to begin the process of getting your life back to normal. So, now that you’ve filed the necessary paperwork, what next?
After the insurance company is notified about a claim, they will send an insurance claims adjuster to inspect the damage on your property. If you’ve seen reports online about an “insurance company taking pictures of my house,” then it is highly likely that it was an insurance claims adjuster taking the pictures.
While looking at the damage, they will also be taking pictures. But aside from their own photos, they will also ask you for photo or video evidence of the damage, mainly for comparison. Once the claim is verified, they will then determine the amount that the insurance company will cover.
Again, depending on your policy, the adjuster may issue a check for the full replacement or settlement or an advance on the amount you need. Separate checks will be issued for each type of loss: one for your damage to the home itself, one for personal property, and a separate check for flooding or earthquake damage should you have a rider or separate policy in place.
In some cases, the compensation check may be issued to your lender if your home is mortgaged. When that happens, contact your lender immediately to know how repairs will be handled. Payment can also be made directly to your contractor. They will provide you with a form you can sign for all repairs they’ve made, which will then be sent to your insurance company.
What to Do During Property and Casualty Insurance Claims Processing
Report the damage to your homeowner’s insurance company immediately.
As mentioned previously, your first step should be to contact your insurance company immediately to report the damage to your property. It is a standard clause in any insurance policy contract, resulting in a denial of your claim if you fail to do so within the stated time limit.
Once you’ve notified the insurance company of your claim, the claim processing will begin. During this process, the insurance company will require a few documents as well as documented proof of your claim before they can issue compensation.
Aside from your name and address, they will also ask for your policy number, the type of claim, and a description of the damage to your home and personal property, so be sure to have this information on hand.
Secure your property and the surrounding area.
Securing your home and preventing additional damage and injury is also a standard in most insurance policies to prevent the insurance company from issuing further compensation. That is why it is vital to set up mitigating measures to prevent additional damage post-disaster. However, before you do, make sure to document all the damage on your property for evidence.
After securing the needed evidence, perform emergency measures such as placing a tarp over your roof or boarding up holes to prevent more water from entering. You may also need to set up a perimeter around your property to prevent people other than emergency personnel from entering.
Consider seeking professional help for the claims process.
It is a common mistake among policyholders to assume that insurance adjusters only want what’s best for you. On the contrary, insurance adjusters will only look out for the insurance company’s best interests, and they will most likely try to persuade you to take less money. For this reason, it may be necessary and within your legal right to hire outside professionals like a public adjuster to help with the claims process. With industry knowledge and extensive experience, they can help make the intricate process of insurance claims more seamless.
Look for a rentable living space during the waiting period.
If your insurance adjuster considers the damage on your property to be substantial and determines it to be unlivable, then you will need to look for a living space that you can call home while repairs are underway. Consider luxury rental spaces for a more comfortable waiting period. Your insurance company will cover all living expenses, so it won’t be an additional expense for you during this challenging time. Take a look at the rental spaces available by visiting this link.