Sadly, many homeowners are finding out that dealing with their insurance companies and adjusters is harder than they thought. Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with an insurance company after a Texas fire.
- Report the property damage claim to your insurance company right away. You don't have to submit an itemized list of all of your losses at that time, but you will be asked to submit a proof of loss claim with a list of the things you lost and their associated value at a later time.
- Get organized. You should come up with a system so all your letters, emails and phone calls to the insurance company are being logged. It is a good idea to get a binder and divide it into sections to include insurance communication, estimates, invoices, living expenses and receipts.
- Get an advance. You still have to pay your mortgage, taxes and insurance payments during this time. You also need to be able to pay for additional living expenses, like a hotel bill, since you are out of your home. Ask the insurance company for an advance against your claim to meet your basic needs, such as clothing, toiletries, etc. Make sure to save each receipt for items purchased during this time.
- Maintain your property. Keep making your mortgage payments and mitigate your damages. Homeowners have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to minimize the damages. For example, if your house is still smoldering, contact the fire department. If your roof has a hole in it, cover it up. Additionally, you may need to turn off your water or board up your home to minimize harm to your property.
- Stay on top of the insurance company. Insurance companies only have a certain time period to handle your claim in a timely manner. If your claim is dragging out, seek the help of a Texas insurance claim attorney or consider sending a complaint letter to the state Department of Insurance.
Make sure to download your FREE copy of attorney Bill Voss's book, Disputes With Your Insurance Company - What All Consumers Need to Know.