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A Step-by-Step Guide to Navigating Insurance Claims

Dealing with Insurance Companies is a Critical Component of Restoration

Natural disasters can be devastating, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. Safety should always come first, but what happens after the dust settles? One of the most crucial steps in the recovery process is filing an insurance claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies don't always make the process easy, and without proper guidance, it's easy to feel lost.

At ServiceMaster of Colorado Springs, we realize that filing an insurance claim can seem daunting. The good news is that with our specialists on your side, it doesn't have to be. We will provide you with everything you need to know about navigating insurance claims after a natural disaster. Our technicians have the experience and knowledge to be by your side – every step of the way.

Ensure Everyone Is Safe & Sound

Before worrying about insurance claims, ensuring that you and your family are safe is imperative. If you are in an area affected by a natural disaster, please follow emergency procedures and evacuate safely. Before you return to your home, ensure all warnings have been lifted, and the area is declared safe.

Make Temporary Repairs

Once you return home, take photos or videos of any damage to your property. Do not discard damaged items; they may be needed as evidence while filing an insurance claim. Keeping all evidence and documentation in case your insurance company requires them is crucial. You can make temporary repairs to prevent further damage from occurring.

ContactServiceMaster of Colorado Springs immediately for quick and effective restoration assistance. We’ll assess the situation, devise a restoration game plan, and outline all your options. Our team can begin boarding up and placing tarps over exposed property to minimize damage. We can also start repairing damage such as leaky roofs, holes in the wall, or broken windows. During this phase, it is essential that you keep all receipts.

Contact Your Insurer

After ensuring your safety and making temporary repairs, contact your insurer to report the damage. The insurance company will assign you an adjuster (an expert in assessing damages) to review and evaluate your claim. They will guide you through the following steps, discuss the insurance policy coverage, and provide you with an estimated amount of damage.

Request Additional Living Expenses (ALE)

Before beginning the claim process, request additional living expenses (ALE) from your insurance company. Remember that this is a separate expense from the actual cost of repairs and is meant to cover basic living expenses.

ALE typically covers expenses you incur after your home is uninhabitable and you must find temporary accommodation. These expenses include hotel bills and reasonable restaurant meals if you are staying in a hotel room that doesn't have a kitchen. ALE also covers living costs beyond your usual housing expenses, such as rent and utilities. For instance, if you lived in a one-bedroom apartment and had to move to a three-bedroom house temporarily, the extra cost would qualify under ALE.

It is essential to note that ALE coverage is usually subject to daily and overall limits. For instance, your daily limit could be $100, and your overall limit could be $10,000. Therefore, anything above these limits would require you to pay out of pocket. As such, reviewing your policy details and understanding the coverage limit is vital. ALE coverage may also differ depending on your insurance provider, policy, and state. Therefore, to avoid any misunderstandings, it would be best to speak with your insurance agent or company to ask specific questions regarding your policy so that you can understand your coverage.

Fill Out Claim Forms

After the initial review and evaluation, it's time to start filing your claim. Your adjuster may provide you with claim forms, or you may proactively find them online. Make sure to fill out all document sections as accurately as possible. You must submit a detailed description of the damage, including the incident’s date, time, and location. Consider attaching all evidence and documentation of the damage you have incurred.

Work With the Insurance Adjuster

After filing a claim, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. This person will be responsible for assessing the damage to your home and determining the payout you are entitled to. It's important to be cooperative and polite throughout the process. However, don't forget to advocate for yourself and point out any damage the adjuster may have missed.

Begin the Claim Settlement Process

You'll receive a claim settlement offer once the adjuster has assessed the damage. This will outline the amount of money your insurance company is willing to payout for the repairs or rebuilding of your home. Make sure to review this offer carefully. If you have any concerns or questions, don't hesitate to contact your insurance company's customer service department. It's important to remember that you don't need to accept the first offer.

Review Your Policy During the Restoration Process

During the restoration process, keeping a close eye on all the work is essential. Review your policy to ensure everything is done correctly and avoid violations. If there are discrepancies between your policy and the work done, contact your insurance company immediately.

Need Help Handling Claims & Restoration? Trust ServiceMaster!

While filing an insurance claim can be intimidating, it's a necessary step in recovery. By following these tips, your claim is more likely to be approved, and you'll be able to rebuild your home and life. Remember to advocate for yourself, be patient, and stay organized throughout the claims process. With time and effort, you can recover from a natural disaster and restore your home to its former glory.

ServiceMaster of Colorado Springs understands that no one wants to deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster, but it's essential to be prepared. Having pros to assist with insurance claims can ease the complicated process. Remember that your insurance company is there to help you during these trying times. Our restoration specialists are ready to help you as well. We can document, itemize, and package damaged goods to organize the claims process. We can also help you navigate the ins and outs to optimize your returns and mitigate stress.

Do you need professional assistance with restoration efforts and property claims? Call (719) 356-3189 today!