By Ron Harsch
Most property owners have never been through a significant property damage claim before. Here are five quick tips for business owners and homeowners following a loss:
1/ Be cooperative, but take your time making decisions on what to do with your property following a loss.
It’s important to be cautious sharing information early in the claim. For example, it may be premature, without fully understanding your damages and options, to indicate an intention to rebuild or not rebuild following a loss. These decisions may have a large impact on what you are paid, so understand your options fully before disclosing your intentions.
2/ Be proactive. Don’t allow the insurance company to determine the value of your claim for you. Your claim shouldn’t be based solely on the insurance company adjuster or company consultant’s estimates of damage. Your claim should be based upon the scope and value of repairs determined by you, your contractor and your trusted advisors only.
*Additional Note: Many insurance company adjusters provide little or no guidance. Within weeks of a loss, they may write an estimate and suggest that you begin repairs immediately. This leaves you responsible for any short falls in amounts owed to a contractor. It is better to reach an agreement on the scope and the value of the loss before the repairs commence.
3/ Fully understand your policy before moving forward. Certain damages may have limited amounts of coverage or no coverage at all. Other damages may not be owed unless incurred. Specific provisions, endorsements and exclusions can impact your claim both positively and negatively.It is critical to understand all of these issues before moving to far forward in the repair process.
4/ Consider having your own team/advocates to assist in the preparation of damages for you. The insurance company adjusters and their retained consultants are working on behalf of the insurance company. Who is working for you? Working with advocates like The Claims Group will ensure you not only approach the process properly, but that you have someone in your corner who has been down this road before.
If you have questions about how to handle damage to your property and/or the insurance claim process, please contact The Claims Group at (303) 926-4959.