Prior to the Appraisal
Before the insurance adjuster arrives to inspect your property, read through your insurance policy so you know what damages your policy covers and what damages are excluded. You also need to know the amount of your deductible, so you are prepared for this payout. In some instances, you may have different deductibles for the different types of damage.
Take photographs and videos of the damage your property sustained as you develop a written list of damages. Keep your photos organized so you can provide details of the images, and if you take videos, explain out loud what you are filming. Don’t forget to film damage to your inventory, equipment, landscaping, and vehicles.
Include in your written list as many details as possible. If you have a current inventory list, use this to note the value as each item as well as the extent of the damage of each. Dispose of inventory like clothes or other materials that will mold from the water damage. Gather all documentation that proves ownership and value of your assets such as purchase invoices, contracts, bills of sale, and receipts.
Make any temporary repairs needed to keep the premises safe and prevent further damage from occurring. Before starting, contact your insurance provider, explain the damage and what steps you will take to repair it.
Whether you do the repairs yourself or hire a contractor, keep receipts for all materials and labor for your claims journal and to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement. Take pictures of the damage before you start repairs, during repairs, and after the work is completed.
When the Adjuster Arrives
Try to have your trusted contractor with you when the adjuster arrives for the inspection so that any discussion about the technicalities of repair and rebuilding can be addressed immediately. The adjuster will write up a damage report for the insurance company, and the company will base your settlement offer on this report. Get a copy of this report when it is completed and compare the report to your list of damages to make sure that the insurance adjuster didn’t miss anything. If there is something missing from the report, notify your insurance provider immediately as you won’t get paid for any undocumented damages.
Your insurance provider will notify you of their offer in writing. If you do not agree with the compensation offer, you do not have to accept it. Some insurance providers are undervaluing and denying legitimate claims.
If you need help at any time during the claims process, contact our insurance attorneys today. We will review your insurance policies, determine your coverages, and help you file your claim and gather supporting evidence. If you receive an unsatisfactory offer, we can negotiate with the insurance provider, ensure you are not taken advantage of, and that you receive the full value of your damage claim, so you can get back to business.