When your home has been destroyed following a disaster, it can be downright heartbreaking. Despite this emotional state, it’s important for property damage victims to file a property damage insurance claim as soon as possible.
To help you know what to expect, here are some things that you should know before filing your claim with an insurance indemnification expert.
1. Make temporary repairs. To protect your home or belongings from further damage, you should make temporary repairs or hire an expert to do so. If you have valuables that might be further damaged due to exposure to the elements, it’s best to remove these belonging to a safe location or a storage unit, which might be reimbursed by your insurance company.
2. Take photos. It’s important to take photos of the damage to properly document it for your insurance company. Photos provide proof of the damage and could help your insurance company expedite the processing of your claim.
3. Keep receipts. If you are displaced from your home, then you’ll need to find someplace to stay while your home is being repaired. Of course, the temporary housing experts at Enville will be happy to help you with the process, and we can provide you with the necessary receipts. But you should also save receipts for meals and transportation as well as these might be reimbursable as well.
4. File your claim. You have a limited window to report your claim, so it’s best to do it as soon as possible. Call your insurance company and report the loss. They will ask to list items destroyed, damaged, or missing. Try to provide them with as much detail about the items as possible.
5. Don’t rush to settle. Yes, you probably want the settlement as soon as possible so that you can get started on rebuilding your home or replacing your property. But if you take a settlement that you are not satisfied with, then you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment in the end. So take your time and ask your insurance company questions if you are not happy with their settlement.
6. Expect multiple payments. Often your insurance company will provide you with an advance to cover temporary living arrangements before providing you with the full settlement. So don’t expect to receive your entire settlement all at once.
7. Choose a reputable contractor. A disaster sometimes will attract frauds looking to take advantage of those who have already lost everything. So make sure that the company you choose to provide you with repairs is reputable. And do not pay a contractor the full amount up front; they expect a down payment and final payment at the completion of the job.
8. Report additional damage. During repairs, you might uncover additional damage to your home. Report this to you insurance company as it may affect your final settlement.
9. Create a home inventory. When you rebuild, make sure that you create a home inventory of valuable. If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll be better prepared in dealing with your insurance company.
10. Keep paying premiums. While you are in the process of settling your property damage insurance claim, it’s important to keep paying your premiums. They will continue to protect you while you are repairing your home, but you can certainly ask your insurer if you can reduce the portion that covers the structure of your home if it was a total loss.
Of course, the loss of your home is a terrible, stressful time, so if there is anything that we can do here at Enville to help you, please let us know. And if you are looking for a place to stay in Montreal because you have been displaced by a disaster, contact us today.