Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-02-22 17:50:09 –
Many homeowners continue to be upset as a devastating winter storm hits the country.
In Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and elsewhere, bad weather has cost millions of people power loss and cost billions of dollars in property damage. Ruptured pipes are flooding the house, which can lead to mold growth and other problems.
Homeowners insurance It can be essential to recovery, but it is important to act swiftly, keep good records, and pay close attention to policy details. There are four ways to get the most value from your home insurance coverage when dealing with a serious storm.
Check the homeowner’s insurance policy
Your top priority is to keep you and your family safe. Once it’s in control, it’s time to check what’s covered by your home insurance policy, says Mark Friedlander, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.
Look at the policy declaration page for the types of damages covered, limited coverage, and Insurance deduction.. If you have any questions, please contact your insurance company or agency to make sure you fully understand the scope of the policy.
The main difference in policy can be worth thousands of dollars. For example, some policies cover the cost of replacing damaged belongings, while others only refund the actual cash value. If a ruptured pipe ruins a TV five years ago, replacement cost compensation will help you pay for a new similar TV. The actual cash value, on the other hand, accounts for five years of depreciation and only pays what the insurance company thinks the TV is worth just before it is destroyed.
Report your insurance claim to your insurance company
If a storm damages your home and you need to make a claim, report it to your agent or insurance company immediately.
“A huge number of complaints will occur, [so] It’s important to file a claim or notify the agent or company very early, “said David Sampson, President and CEO of the General Insurance Association of America.
According to Friedlander, technology will be your friend in explaining what happened. “Take a picture if you can. The video is good, but at least you should take a picture with your cell phone so that you can record the damage.”
Do not destroy anything that may affect your claim unless explicitly permitted by your insurance company. Liz Heigle, Communication Director of the Oklahoma Department of Insurance, advises by email. She also recommends keeping a list of everyone you talk to about your claim at the insurance company.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Social Distance Guidelines make the first steps of the billing process easier and faster. In many cases, insurance companies effectively handle the initial damage assessment and, in the most severe cases, book a direct visit from the assessor, says Friedlander.
If the assessor needs to inspect the damage directly, Heigl is advised to be present to discuss the damage. If that is not possible, make a note of information about where the adjuster can be contacted.
Repair what you can
After discussing with your insurance company, you can take care of any repairs that require your attention.
For example, if a pipe is dripping water into your house, you don’t have to wait for a contractor to appear to deal with the problem. As long as you have a clear understanding of what your insurance company should do, you can perform emergency repairs without the risk of losing your insurance coverage.
Be sure to record all costs when making repairs. Any purchases made to resolve the issue will be covered as part of your bill.
If you do not have water or electricity due to a winter storm, you may need to temporarily live elsewhere. Your insurance company usually pays for your additional living expenses while you are evacuating, but you may have limited coverage and other restrictions, so you should discuss this step with your insurance company. Should be.
Beware of scams
Insurance fraud This is a common problem in the aftermath of a serious storm. Malicious contractors, among other schemes, take advantage of people’s despair by inflating costs, taking money in advance, and not completing their jobs.
“Money is deposited from the federal government, insurance, or a hybrid of both, and fraudsters know it,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Department.
Camille Garcia, a spokesman for the Texas Insurance Council, said in an email that there are several ways to prevent consumers from being victims of these scams.
She recommends reviewing references and online reviews before choosing a contractor and paying in installments when the work is completed to your satisfaction.
“Don’t sign insurance checks with contractors,” Garcia says.
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Doug Sibor writes to the Nerd Wallet. Email: email@example.com.
How to get the most home insurance help after a winter storm Source link How to get the most home insurance help after a winter storm