Insurance Claims: Residential Property Damage

Property damage to one’s residence can be devastating and life-altering. Everything one owns in a second can be destroyed. While these devastating events likely cannot be prevented, it is imperative to understand your insurance policy so that the appropriate settlement can be reached and you can be compensated for the loss incurred at the property and for the loss incurred for all personal belongings within the property. Insurance is important to have so that when these devastating events occur, your property will be protected. It is essential to have Coffey Trial Law at your side in these events to help navigate the insurance policies and filing the claim that will get you the settlement you deserve to rebuild your home and life.

Insurance companies are businesses, and with any business they wish to turn a profit. The way insurance companies turn a profit is by getting the customer to pay the premium to protect them from damage, but they lose money when a disaster occurs and they have to pay out that policy. Therefore, when a disaster that damages one’s personal belongings and residential property, the insurance adjuster is going to want to settle for the least possible amount; and in many instances will try to find a loop hole to get out of covering the full value of the losses incurred. In these instances, having Coffey Trial Law by your side can allow for us to be the mediator between the you and the insurance company fighting for the payout you must have to cover the losses.

When property damage occurs, it is imperative to take as many photos and videos of all damaged items to prove damage occurred due to the reason you are filing the claim. It also helps to have images of the items prior to the residential property damage to prove that the items were in working and mint condition prior to any damage. Be as detailed as possible when providing this information to the insurance companies.

Understanding your individual insurance policy will help you to navigate it in a more efficient and effective way. The most typical forms of residential property insurance offers: Law or Ordinance policies and Alternative Living Expense policies. Law or Ordinance policies may cover required features deemed by law in the re-building process, that may not have been a part of the original structure due to those building codes being enacted after the structure was built. A specific policy titled Replacement Cost Coverage covers these upgrades that will be required by law to maintain appropriate building codes during the re-build process. There are certain policies that exclude those costs and therefore can become a burden on the client. The next typical policy offered within the residential property insurance is the Alternative Living Expense. This policy states that if the home or structure is unlivable, then a temporary housing location will be paid for. This may include: hotel, rent or other costs of living which occurs as a direct result of the damage while the structure is being rebuilt. There may be associated deductibles with this claim.

When the insurance company sends the adjuster to evaluate the damage, it is imperative to make sure that they are licensed to provide an estimate of the damage both to the residential structure and to the personal belongings destroyed. Make sure that you take note of the first and last name plus the license number of the insurance adjuster so that you can document who was evaluating your property. Do not sign any documents prior to speaking with Coffey Trial Law. The insurance company is a business and does not have your best interest. It is important to remember that you have to protect yourself and do not sign any documents without seeking attorney advice. You also have the right to hire your own independent adjuster to evaluate your damage and provide you with an estimate.

If the estimate that is provided to you by the insurance adjuster is unacceptable to the losses you have incurred, or they flat out have denied your claim please contact Coffey Trial Law today so that we can begin the process of getting you the settlement you deserve. This is a difficult time and can be a very stressful time; therefore, let us take care of the burden and help you rebuild your life.