If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't think about your homeowners insurance policy very often. But when it comes time to file a claim, you could find yourself in for a rude awakening. Insurance companies often try to take advantage of homeowners by denying claims or offering low settlements. Our Texas attorneys at The Voss Law Firm go over best practices when dealing with insurance companies and the claims process.
6 Tips to Maximize Your Homeowners Insurance Claim
When making a homeowners insurance claim, it's important to remember that insurance companies are looking to minimize their payout. As a result, the initial offer from the claims adjuster is likely to be lower than what you expect. Instead of accepting this offer, there are several steps you can take to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Choose the Right Homeowners Insurance Policy
There are many factors to consider when choosing a homeowners' insurance policy. It's important to find a company you can trust, and to make sure you select a policy with sufficient coverage. If you purchase a policy with insufficient coverage, you'll likely be left with substantial out-of-pocket costs in the event of a total loss. Make sure to review your policy in depth to ensure it has the coverage you want and need. By doing so, you can help protect yourself financially in the event of a major disaster.
One of the most important things you can do after suffering property damage is to document everything. This means taking plenty of pictures, so be sure to take more than you think you need. Be sure to photograph not only the damage itself, but also any additional damage that may have been caused by the initial incident, such as cracks in the floor or bowing floorboards. In addition, take extensive, detailed notes about everything you can remember, including phone calls you have with the insurance company, neighbors, witnesses, or anyone else you may speak with over the course of the claims process. This will help ensure that you have a complete record of everything that happens and that all your bases are covered.
Stay On Top of the Claims Process
First, try to meet every deadline ahead of schedule. This will show the insurance company that you are taking the claim seriously and that you are organized. Second, make sure that you keep them updated at every step in the process. They will appreciate having all of the latest information, and it will help to avoid delays. Finally, if you incur any expenses in the course of trying to stop further damage or protect your property, be sure to keep those receipts. You may be able to add them to your claim for compensation.
Gather Multiple Repair Estimates
When you experience damage to your home or property, it is important to reach out to several different contractors to get an estimate of the repair costs. This will give you a good idea of the range of costs you will be faced with. When the insurance adjuster gives you a settlement offer, make sure it falls in the mid-to-higher range of those estimates. Use the estimates and quotes from contractors to argue that the insurance company's settlement offer is too low for a quality repair.
Consider Hiring a Public Claims Adjuster
Public adjusters are typically hired after a major disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado, when homeowners need assistance navigating the claims process. However, public adjusters can also be hired to handle smaller claims, such as water damage or theft. One of the main benefits of working with a public adjuster is that they can often help to speed up the claims process. They are also typically very familiar with the insurance company's policies and procedures, which can help to ensure that the policyholder receives a fair settlement.
Hire an Attorney
If you're not happy with the settlement offer from your insurance company, you may be considering hiring an insurance claims attorney. This can be a good decision, as an attorney can investigate your claim and help you fight for a higher settlement. In some cases, the insurance company may have made an error in their calculations, or they may be low-balling you in the hope that you'll take the offer. An experienced attorney will know how to find any errors and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Need Help Resolving a Claim?
If you have suffered damage or loss after a storm in your Texas home and are being treated unfairly by the insurance company, contact an experienced insurance claim attorney to protect your legal rights and help maximize your claim. To learn more, contact The Voss Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation by using our contact form or by calling our office at 888-614-7730. The Voss Law Firm, P.C. has been protecting policyholder’s rights for the past sixteen years, recovering billions of dollars in settlements for our clients. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case.