After you have survived the wrath of Mother Nature in Irene, the next big challenge will be to make the insurance company accept your claim and pay the money. Have a look at the article to know about some useful tips that can help you get money from the insurer.
Hurricane Irene claim tips
Here are the few tips that can help you complete the insurance claim process without any difficulty:
1. Contact insurance agent: Your first task will be to contact the insurance company claim department and file the claim. You can get the telephone number of the department from the Insurance Information Institute. You should contact the insurance company even when you haven't finished analyzing the extent of damage of the property. If you are not able to get their telephone numbers, then send an e-mail to the insurance company. Later, if the insurance company creates any problem, then you can use the email as a proof.
2. Take photograph of the damages: Take pictures of the various parts of the property to show the extent of damage to the insurance company. This will let your insurer know about the condition of the property just after the cyclone. It is best to take the photographs prior to making any emergency repair. You should note down the items that have been damaged by the cyclone.
3. Do some basic repair: Make the emergency repairs in your property/home. For example, you can repair the broken doors and windows. Make the basic repairs on your home so that it becomes habitable again. Retain the bills and show them to the insurance company for reimbursement.
4. Acquire knowledge on the adjuster: Contact the insurance company to get detailed information on the adjuster. Much depends on the information sent by the adjuster to the insurance company. Collect information on the adjuster who will evaluate the damage of the property. Know whether or not he works at the insurance. If the adjuster is working independently, then you should ascertain whether or not he is fit to work on insurance claims.
Avoid working with the adjuster who asks you to pay an advance fee to negotiate with the insurer on your behalf. You are not required to pay any fee before receiving any settlement.
5. Set up an appointment with adjuster: It is not easy to get an appointment of the adjuster post a cyclone. Like you, thousands of home owners are filing insurance claims. So, the adjusters have to examine various properties in a locality during this time period, and are extremely busy. Set up an appointment as early as possible.
Try to be present in your house when the adjuster comes to inspect your home. You can explain what has happened to your house after the natural disaster. If it is possible, show him the pictures of the house and various objects before and after they were damaged. This way the adjuster can demarcate the difference easily.
6. Pen down everything in paper: Write down everything in a piece of paper while filing insurance claim. Write down the names and phone numbers of the persons you have spoken to while filing the claim. Then, note down the events that have happened post hurricane. Don't forget to pen down the date and time of filing the insurance claim.
7. Fill out the forms: When the adjuster comes to your house, ask him the correct procedure of filing the claim. The adjuster will be able to tell you about the types and the number of forms you have to fill out. The person can also tell you the right way to fill out and submit the form.
8. Have written documents: If your house has been completely wrecked and you have been compelled to live in a hotel, retain all payment receipts with you. This is because your insurer is likely to cover the hotel and other expenses up to a certain limit. If you are lucky, then you can get some money from the insurer even before the settlement of your claim.
9. Follow up with the insurer: After filing the insurance claim, you should follow up with insurer regarding the status of your claim. If the insurer tells you that they can't accept your claim, ask the reason behind their decision. In some cases, the insurers are right. If the insurer can point the exact clause in the policy for which they are denying the claim, then you can make a decision.
Finally, if you feel that the insurance company has rejected your insurance claim without any valid cause or given an unsatisfactory reimbursement, then register a complaint to your state insurance department. You may also seek advice from an attorney to decide upon the course of action. If the insurance company can't offer a valid reason for denying your claim, then you are most likely to receive the full claim amount.