Has disaster recently struck your property? Are you planning on filing a property damage insurance claim? Pride Cleaning & Restoration knows from experience that there are important factors you may want to consider before going through with your claim. We want to help you get back what you lose when a tragedy occurs. Before any insurance companies get involved, make sure you read over our list of important questions to consider.
- Have You Recently Filed Another Claim?
We ask this question first for your protection because we do not want you to fall under a certain risk category by your insurance company. Filing several property damage claims within a small amount of time (for example, the third or fourth claim in the past decade or less) and/or for small amounts – can put a homeowner in the ‘high-risk category’ in the eyes of their insurance company. You might ask, “what may happen if I am placed in this category?”. One who has filed several claims in a short amount of time may expect increased premiums or worse – the insurance company may refuse to insure the homeowner any longer. Many factors decide what a premium will be. One factor, in particular, is the holder’s history in filing claims.
- What Is Your Deductible?
When the damage to your property and the inevitable costs to restore a property is less than the amount of your deductible or a tad over – it is likely not in your best interest and you should not be filing an insurance claim. For instance, if a small fire occurs in a homeowner’s kitchen, causing $500 in damage and they have a $1,000 deductible, it is not in the policyholder’s best interest to file an insurance claim because it will pay out nothing due to the deductible not having been met. The only time an insurance claim will pay out is if the property damage exceeds the policy’s deductible. If the property damage is only a tad more than the deductible – some insurance companies may actually consider your claim to be a ‘nuisance claim.’
Unfortunately, in this particular example, the homeowner’s best option is to replace the damaged property out-of-pocket. Understanding what a deductible is and how it will affect future claims when purchasing an insurance policy can help to be sure you are selecting an amount that you would be able to afford should a loss occur.
- Are You In Need of Professional Guidance With The Claims Process?
In a post-disaster environment, the policyholder is at a distinct disadvantage. The insurance company is very familiar with the claims process, and their responsibilities; whereas, a home or business owner is typically not. Fortunately, there are professionals who can help – namely public adjusters. Public adjusters level the playing field, by essentially placing an expert in the policyholder’s corner. Public adjusters help assemble a worthy claim, present it to the insurance company, and serve as an advocate. The earlier a public adjuster is brought into the restoration process, the likelihood increases that they are able to obtain a more favorable settlement for that home or business owner.