How to mitigate mistakes when claiming for a property loss

Panic and shock can set in rapidly when you’ve lost a property, be it your home or business premises, due to a natural disaster, such as a fire or flood.

It may only be bricks and mortar, but it was yours. Your home filled with family memories and keepsakes, or a place in which you built your livelihood. In the midst of struggling to keep yourself mentally strong, there are some important tasks that can be quickly forgotten. Ones that could adversely affect your settlement.

Speed is of the essence

When filing any property insurance claim, rules and restrictions apply. Don’t wait too long as some policies have a strict timeline and it’s your responsibility to contact the insurance company timeously. You also need to confirm that your loss is covered and to put the claim on record. So the sooner you report the damage, the better. But don’t rush the claim process. This can work against you by causing you to miss crucial details trying to settle fast, rather than to settle smart.

 

Be organized from the get-go

Although it can be a very tedious and detailed process, it’s very important to accurately itemise all your damaged possessions. Although the insurance company will pay you based on your policy, proper detailed documentation is still required. Also, don’t forget the small stuff. Office supplies for a business or hygienic products for a homeowner, can add up to a significant amount.

In addition, document every phone call, email, meeting and interaction you have with all involved in your claim, be they contractors, public adjusters, the insurance company’s representatives, etc. If problems arise during the course of your claim, this documentation will support you. Being organized also involves checking references and credentials. Taking the time to check that all parties are accredited can alleviate problems in the long run.

Get a team of experts on board if needs be

Depending on the size or scope of your loss, a disaster team, or a response team, is a group of individuals that can assist you to compile your claim, such as a public adjuster, contractor, engineer and attorney. This will ensure that you’ve left nothing to chance when consulting your broker, who is there every step of the way to ensure your claim is processed timeously and fairly.

 

Make sure the lingo doesn’t leave you in limbo

The insurance claim process can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the language in your policy. If so, ask your broker to talk you through any terms and conditions or fine print you may not understand prior to submitting your claim.

By following these simple steps, you can avoid a tedious and time consuming claims process and rather enjoy a better, faster recovery.