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3 Tips For Insurance Claims On Home Structural Damage
Getting insurance is just the easy part. The hard part is getting your hands on the claims that you feel legitimately deserved.
Sometimes things can get so bad in your corner that you start wondering if your insurer is working for you or against you.
But there is a big reason why adjusters make life so tough for the very people who are paying their salaries. You can disagree with it, but you just cannot debunk it altogether.
The fear they have is fraud.
Even if you did not lose money, the knowledge that people have committed fraud on insurance companies can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
If we look at this perspective, insurance is a business that punishes the good guys for the atrocities that the bad guys commit. And despite this sense of injustice, it is something that we cannot live without in the modern world where risks are everywhere.
Most people can accept that investigators are just doing their jobs to verify that your claims are legitimate. The thing that most people cannot stand is when they make things difficult so as to explore every loophole possible to pay as little as possible on a claim.
Maybe they are entrapping us to make a mistake that justifies throwing the whole claim out. Who knows what goes on in the minds of those high level executives.
But as a home owner, you can take responsibility in making your claim go as smoothly as possible after a devastating storm for example wreak havoc in your neighborhood.
The actual jargon used is structural damage claim.
If you think that structural damages caused by a storm is a straight forward claim, you are correct. But the issue usually does not lie here. It is found somewhere else.
You see… your policy is supposed to provide a full replacement to the damage. But different people can have a different opinion on what exactly is the amount of money needed for replacement.
The adjuster, contractor, and you can all have differing numbers in mind. If faced with such a situation, get the other 2 parties to sort it out while ensuring your replacement is not short-changed in any way.
If any one party is going to get the longer end of the stick, it should be you. You have been paying your premiums fully and in a timely manner. It’s the least that you should expect.
Here are some steps to make sure you are not taken for a ride one way or another.
Bear in mind that you are not trying to cheat or mislead people. Your goal is just to seek a fair settlement with little disputes, as quick as possible.
1) Don’t agree on an estimated amount if you find it unfair
It is understandable if you are inexperienced in making such a claim. Because of not knowing what to expect, home owners often just agree to whatever estimates an adjuster determines.
Don’t ignore the fact that you have the right to disagree. But be sure to back it up with justification.
While this is not exactly a court with lawyers eating into every spoken word, empty words that are not backed by data and evidence will not get anyone anywhere.
If you don’t have a contractor in mind that you can trust and decides to try the open market, go for credibility and competence.
To seek value, get quotations from at least 3 such contractors while laying out all the requirements you expect.
Freelancers or new companies are risky. Even though that can be less expensive, there is a higher possibility that they have a low level of workmanship or even discard the project in the middle of it due to financial problems.
Also make sure the one you select has insurance for liability and worker’s compensation.
2) Don’t get caught in the middle
Building and renovation is a messy affair. Costs estimates can often rise due to events out of your control.
When there is an adjustment to the amount previously agreed, you could become the middleman trying to get all parties to agree on something. And because you do not have to power or authority to make a decision for any party, there is nothing much you can do except passing the message.
Avoid these headaches by getting them to agree on settling their own disputes between themselves.
3) Call a meeting of all parties
A big problem you could face is when there is a lack of communication and respect between insurer and contractor. This can result in disputes and disagreements on costs estimates.
By introducing them to each other is often enough to eliminate a huge amount of this risk.
With you around as the main party, get both of them to collectively agree on a fair replacement cost. The insurer will ensure that you are not taken for a ride, while the contractor will ensure the same for you.
If you do encounter problems that cannot be resolved, contact your insurer or agent for help.