The size and style of your house doesn’t matter. You are proud to be the owner.
You keep up with all of your maintenance chores inside and outdoors. You even break out the decorations during the holidays. Your home is your private sanctuary and personal retreat.
Unfortunately, property damage can still occur regardless of how great you are at maintaining your home. Whether the property damage is manmade or weather-related, your home is a mess—so how do you recover from property damage? Here are some tips to help you simplify the process.
Tips On Recovering From Property Damage
1. Take a Walk Around the Property
Before you start calling your insurance agent, you need to get a general idea of the extent of the damage. If downed power lines are on the property, wait until the electrical crew removes the hazard.
You also don’t want to enter a building with structural damage, which includes caved-in walls, broken chimneys, and structures with extensive roof damage. Instead of wandering around, take some pictures of the damage from a safe distance.
Try to keep your feelings neutral during your assessment—yes, it will be difficult, but it will help ensure you document everything. A good tip to follow is to refrain from throwing anything away. Your insurance adjuster will want to see and document every aspect of the damage.
2. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Once you’ve assessed the damage, the next step is to call your insurance provider. Chances are, you have a dedicated agent, and you want to contact your agent as soon as possible. Any delays in contacting your insurance means the longer it will take to start repairing the damage.
Your insurance agent will have questions, so try to answer each one they have calmly and thoroughly. Even though your agent will understand that you’re upset, you still need to stay calm enough to clearly describe the property damage. After describing the issue, your agent will schedule a time to come assess the property.
Related: How To Sue For Property Damage?
3. Conduct a Property Assessment
A property assessment is exactly what the term implies—it’s where an insurance adjuster will tour your property to assess the extent of the damage. The final assessment is what your insurance provider will use to estimate the monetary value of the damage; or, in other words, the amount you receive on your insurance check.
Your insurance agent can give you a rough estimate of the amount you receive, but you won’t know the precise total until the assessment is complete.
4. Consider Your Deductible
The deductible is the amount you pay on your insurance claim, and almost all homeowners have insurance with deductibles. The deductible will also vary depending on where the damage occurs. For example, you may have a separate roof and wall damage deductible.
How does a deductible work? For instance, your policy may cover up to $25,000 in roof repairs with a $3,000 deductible. If your roof repairs are estimated at $25,000, the insurance company will issue you a check for $23,000. The deductible can also be a percentage of the repair costs.
5. Use Your Insurance Check to Repair the Damage
Your insurance check should cover most of the necessary repairs; also, some contractors will work directly with your insurance provider. They may receive the payout directly instead of waiting for you to issue a check. When contractors and insurance companies work together, it can help simplify the repair process, meaning you have one less thing to worry about.
Unfortunately, working with insurance companies doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes, the insurance provider denies a claim or lowballs the repair total.
How To Resolve A Denied Property Damage Claim Or A Low Settlement
Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. Some providers can make it difficult to receive a fair claim. When this happens, it can be devastating—after all, all you want is to repair the damage and move back into your home.
Your first course of action is to contact the insurance company. Sometimes, you can work out an agreement covering most of your expenses, minus the deductible. If you and your insurance provider can’t come to an agreement, it’s time to seek legal representation.
You can find skilled law firms specializing in insurance claims. Most of these lawyers are reputable, but it’s still a good idea to research the firm before committing to their representation. Working through the legalities will take time, but you will eventually have the funds to repair your property damage.
You Can Recover From Property Damage
Recovering from property damage is a stressful thing to go through, but it’s certainly possible to do. Work with your insurance company and do not be afraid to dispute any claims you feel are unfair.
Remember, when necessary, don’t be afraid to get legal advice and assistance. With a little bit of work, you can recover from property damage.