Questions to Ask Your Insurer After a Disaster
When faced with an insurance claim, many home and business owners just like you have asked the same questions: How do I estimate my loss? Will I recover enough to rebuild? Can I do this myself?
The insurance claims process (especially if this is your first claim) can become time consuming and confusing quickly. To help you obtain a full and expedited recovery, we put together a useful list of questions to ask your insurer after a disaster:
- Who is my main point of contact going to be throughout this claims process?
- Who is the insurance adjuster assigned to my claim/case?
- How will the adjuster keep me apprised of the progress on my claim?
- Will forensic accountants, estimators, engineers, and other professionals be hired by the insurer to accurately document my damages?
- Are any of my claim preparation costs for my own experts covered by my policy?
- What documents will the insurer require me to complete?
- Are there time constraints?
- Where can I access these forms?
- How do I prepare an inventory of my belongings?
- What information does the insurance company need per item?
- Is there a preferred methodology to properly photograph the loss for documentation?
- What if everything is destroyed and not able to be identified?
- Who decides what to try to clean? Do I have a say in the matter?
- Should I begin cleaning up, while waiting for the insurance company to send an adjuster, or can I hire my own cleaning/restoration team?
- Should I begin repairing or replacing anything?
- Can I do any repairs myself?
Insurance Coverages and Exclusions
- Does my insurance policy definitely cover this type of disaster?
- What damages to my property are not covered under my insurance policy?
- What coverages are needed in order to be covered for these types of damages in the future?
- What are my policy limits?
- What is my deductible?
- How is the deductible applied?
- Is my policy an Actual Cash Value policy or a Replacement Cost Value policy?
- How are the valuation methods applied to my claim?
Settlement and Funds
- Am I entitled to an advance from the insurance company?
- What is the process for determining the amount of my settlement?
- How and when do I receive my settlement funds?
- What happens if I am not receiving everything I’m entitled to?
- What happens if my claim is denied?
For Business Owners
- What are my options when it comes to rebuilding my property or replacing it? Does coverage apply for either option?
- What do I need to know about collecting code coverage allowances?
- How do I get compensated for lost sales and loss of business income?
- Am I covered for emergency costs and additional expenses such as mitigation, relocating, payroll, etc.?
- Is there coverage for my employees’ personal property?
- Is there coverage for my customers’ property?
- What do I do with damaged inventory?
- Will I be reimbursed for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) such as rental of a temporary location, food costs, etc.?
- How will I be reimbursed for these costs?
For additional information, visit:
- “Do you need a Public Adjuster?”
- “3 Important Considerations Before You File a Property Damage Insurance Claim”
- “The Dangers of Being Careless on a Proof of Loss Form”