Hurricane Florence's effects will reverberate through South Carolina for a long time. The total cost of property damage will likely reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Right now, however, totals don't matter to you. Fixing your own damage does. You'll likely turn to your homeowners insurance for support in this critical time. What can you do to file a claim expediently and to your greatest benefit?
Don't Wait To File A Claim
Now that the storm is over, countless people will contact insurers to file home damage claims. Thus, you'll likely face a bit of a challenge in getting in getting your claims filed quickly. It is best to start the filing process early. That way, you might not have to wait as long for an appraisal or claim payment. By contacting your insurer early, you'll get the entire process over with faster.
When you open a claim, ask your insurer to review with you:
- Your policy's financial limits. This can tell you the total amount of money you can expect to receive from a claim.
- Exclusions to the coverage. Some types of damage might not have coverage on your policy.
- If you have flood coverage, tell your insurer. Your home insurance usually won't cover flood damage. However, specific flood insurance might.
- Deductibles within your coverage. You'll have the responsibility to pay this price before your insurer will cover the rest of a claim. Keep in mind, if the total cost of damage is less than the deductible, you won't receive any compensation. The damage payments will be your responsibility.
Follow Your Insurers Instructions
Most insurance companies will need a comprehensive idea of the damage to your home. This will help them determine the amount of money you will eventually receive.
Often, they will ask you to supply certain evidence to support the claim. Some of the steps you might take include:
- Photographing the damage
- Obtaining receipts for the value of lost items
- Receiving an appraisal on the approximate value of repairs from a contractor
Do not attempt repairs or major cleanups until you have talked to your Affordable Insurance Group agent. Some of them might require you to follow a specific process for documenting the evidence. Therefore, they'll want the scene to remain as unaltered as possible in order to make an accurate judgement.
Often, insurers will dispatch a claims adjuster to your property. They will survey the damage with their own eyes to determine what they can and cannot cover. Ask them where you can submit additional evidence to support your claim. The sooner you submit all the documentation, the sooner you can have the home repaired.