Your insurance company is supposed to give you a guarantee that you and your property will be taken care of if anything goes wrong. Homeowners’ or renters’ insurance gives residents peace of mind by promising that your electronics, jewelry, and other valuables will be replaced—but in many cases, it can be a struggle to get your insurer to pay the full limits of your policy.
The difference in getting payment and getting proper payment is often in how the policyholder files his or her property damage claim. Before you make a claim for insurance coverage, be sure to consider:
- What was the cause? Your insurance company needs to know what caused your property damage or loss before they will compensate you. In many cases, the damage is done by clearly compensable factors, such as fire, smoke, rain, or wind damage. However, many people are denied their claims because they do not know the terms of their policy (for example, flood damage or vandalism coverage may be optional extras).
- What was damaged? It is important to calculate the total amount of your losses before making a claim. If multiple items were damaged, you should keep a list of each and its estimated value, as well as any additional costs that arose due to the damage (such as car rental after a broken windshield).
- What was the value? The current value of the items you lost might not be what you think it is. The insurance company will only give you as much as it takes to repair or replace your items—and if your items have depreciated in value, you will likely be awarded less.
- What evidence do you have? Your insurance company will likely require evidence of cause, damage, and value before it will reimburse you for your lost items. It is vital that you have proper documentation of the cause by taking photos of the damage before performing repairs. In theft cases, a copy of the police report can help establish the cause and help you to file your claim.
What If the Insurance Company Offers Me Much Less Than I Need?
If you have been paying your premiums for years only to have your insurance company abandon you, we can help. Call Wayne Wright today at 800-237-3334 to have us explain your legal options in your free consultation.