Your Insurance Claim: A Call to Action! 4 Steps
The filing of an insurance claim is a call to action on your and your insurance company's part. Following these four proven steps will get your claim off to a good start on the road that lies ahead.
Call to action #1 Inspect your home!
No one knows your home as well as you do! You have probably lived there for years. It is up to you to go outside and give your home a good look over. If you weren’t at home when the catastrophe hit how will you know if there is damage? Perhaps you were inside seeking shelter. The only way to know the scope of damage is to walk the perimeter of your property. You must look meticulously, you must look thoroughly and you must take notes. If you want a comprehensive free checklist to be used in your inspection, then email to Rick@RLCarteradjuster.com and receive a free copy of the “Damage checklist”
You must pay attention to detail. Look at your fence, your yard, your storage shed or garage. Look at your roof (any misplaced shingles), your rain gutters, your shutters, windows, doors, etc. Then you need to go inside and note all damages on your damage checklist, listing every room and surface. The damage checklist found above is the quick and easy way to do this.
Call to action #2 Review your policy!
Get your property owner’s policy and read it over carefully. The first page is normally your declaration page. It usually contains “the six p’s” which are: Property owner, Property address, Perils insured, Policy Limits, Period of Coverage, Premium Paid. The first thing you must do is make sure that your damage is listed under your covered perils. The rest of your policy will help define this information. If you get stuck or can’t find your policy, then call your insurance agent. He/she will be able to provide you with a copy and answer questions.
If your loss is a covered loss, then you need to look at your deductible. The deductible is the amount you must pay before your insurance company will pay. Look carefully at the amount of your deductible. You may have several different types of deductibles. If you live along a coastal state prone to hurricanes, then you might have a separate windstorm policy, so be sure to check this deductible as well.
Call to Action #3 Compare your damages to your deductible!
This is the magic equation. If you have completed a damage checklist this one is a piece of cake! If you haven’t done #1 thoroughly yet, or don’t know exactly what to look for, then get the “Damage Checklist” It will help you detail everything room by room. If you don’t have any idea what it will cost to fix all the things you see wrong then a good idea is to call a general contractor. Ask if you can read him your list to determine if it is above your deductible or not. The contractor will give you an idea if your claim is above the deductible. Do you see how important step #1, and #2 are? If your damages then exceed your deductible, then you should file your claim.
Call to action #4 File your claim!
This fourth and final call to action requires a call to action on the part of the insurance company. Many people file their claim by calling their agent. When you call, provide your name as stated on your policy, policy number, and your home, work or cell number. Make sure that you receive a claim number. Until you have a claim number, don’t presume that your claim is opened. Another way to file your claim is by emailing your agent. I recommend you call for assistance, the agent who sold you your policy, then you can email your agent and the company person that you are directed to.
This article is an excerpt from the book entitled “How to Settle Your Claim and Get the Money You Deserve!” written by Richard L. Carter.
Mr. Carter is founder of "My Insurance Adjuster" a consumer advocate that educates, informs, and assists property owners in claim resolution. He, his wife and family live in North Carolina. If you need help with your claim or have a question, contact him at Rick@RLCarterAdjuster.com
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