insurance claim

Disasters happen every day and they can happen anywhere. But when your property is damaged as a result of that disaster, getting your property back into usable condition can be tough. Filing an insurance claim is the first step in helping you make the necessary repairs to restore your property to the form and function it had prior to the disaster. Unfortunately, filing a property insurance claim isn’t always as straightforward as it should be, and your Michigan property insurance claim attorneys want to help. Here are a few steps to follow.

Contact Your Property Insurance Company Immediately

After you’ve experienced property damage and have made sure that everyone inside the building is safe and accounted for, you’ll want to contact your property insurance company as soon as possible. Let them know what happened and the types of damage your property suffered, and answer any questions they may pose to you to the best of your ability. 

Your insurance provider will help guide you through the claims process and tell you what you need to provide them with to document your claim. Every insurance provider will have slightly different processes and requirements, so be sure to ask questions if anything seems confusing or you’re unsure of what they’re asking for.

Document the Damage

After notifying your insurance company of the damage, you’ll want to document everything that happened to your property to the best of your ability. Write down what you can remember leading up to the disaster if you witnessed the damage first-hand. Then, take pictures of the damage. Go through each damaged portion of your property and take photos from as many angles as you can. There’s no such thing as too much documentation. 

If items were damaged, make a note of those items and their estimated replacement value. If you still have the receipts for those items, compile them and be prepared to submit them to the insurance provider for further proof.

Make Necessary Temporary Repairs 

Some temporary repairs may be needed to make the property secure or safe to use until more permanent repairs can be made. As you make those temporary repairs, use caution. Avoid making any permanent changes or repairs to the property as they may reduce your settlement amount. 

Schedule an Inspection With the Adjuster

As part of the claims process, your insurance provider will send an insurance adjuster to your property. It’s their job to inspect the damage and render a rough settlement estimate to help you cover the cost of repairs.

Try to be present at the appointment if possible. This will let you answer the adjuster’s questions in real time and gives you a chance to point out damage that the adjuster might overlook or undervalue.

Get Quotes From Repair Experts and Contractors

Insurance adjusters simply put together estimates based on average market prices for repairs. Unfortunately, those estimates are often far lower than the actual cost you’ll face when repairing your property. That’s why it’s important to get quotes from experienced contractors and repair specialists before you accept a check from the insurance company.

Get detailed quotes and estimates from each contractor you speak with. You’ll want the quotes in writing so you can present the insurance company with as much information as possible if needed.

Accept or Contest the Settlement

If the contractors’ quotes are in line with the adjuster’s estimates and the insurance company’s settlement, you’re able to accept the money and schedule repair work. But if the quotes are significantly higher, you may want to contest the settlement. Doing so increases your chances of getting the money you need so you can get your property back to its original condition without having to pay out of pocket.

Let a Michigan Property Insurance Claim Attorney Help

Insurance agencies ultimately try to give you the smallest settlement possible. Rather than accepting a low settlement, work with a Michigan property insurance claim attorney at Fabian, Sklar, King & Liss. Our team will represent your interests with the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery to schedule a consultation.