It is disorienting for any homeowner to discover that their property has been damaged or lost, whether due to a fire, a natural disaster, or theft. Adding insult to injury, the homeowner’s insurance claims process is not always as simple or as straightforward as it could be, and it is natural for homeowners to wonder whether they’re really doing everything they can do to get their claim approved.
There are a few steps that can make the claim process a little easier and more effective. Indeed, just staying organized and being willing to negotiate for yourself can go a long way. Here are some specific steps homeowners should take into account as they file their insurance claim.
TIPS FOR FILING A HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CLAIM
- Take photos of the affected area. You will want to furnish the insurance adjuster with ample evidence of the damage, and that means taking photographs as quickly as you can. Remember that the damaged area may look different over time, so do not delay in taking snapshots.
- Take reasonable actions to mitigate further damage. If a storm leaves a hole in your roof, have it patched up ASAP. If a pipe bursts and causes flood damage, turn off the supply line until you can get the leak repaired. This helps you prove to the insurance company that you are doing everything in your power to prevent further damage.
- Do not throw away damaged possessions. If you have items that are beyond repair, it may be tempting to just toss them into the garbage, but whenever possible, hold onto them and present them to the insurance adjuster as evidence of the damage done.
- Create an inventory of damaged items. This may be challenging, but to the best of your ability, put together a list of any lost or damaged items that you wish to include in your claim. Ideally, you can provide an approximate date of when you bought each item, an estimate as to its value, any photographs, and receipts or proof of purchase. You may not have all of this information handy but be as thorough as possible.
- Review your policy carefully. Some homeowners are pleasantly surprised to find that their policy is more generous than expected and may cover things you never thought of, like repairs made to your landscaping. It is always a good idea to study your policy before filing a claim.
- Get help from an attorney. If you fear that your insurance company is being unresponsive or unreasonable, you can hire an attorney who can help you strengthen your claim and ensure your claim is fairly resolved.
HIRE AN INSURANCE ATTORNEY IN HOUSTON
If you live in the Houston area and have any questions or concerns about your homeowner’s insurance claim, don’t hesitate to contact McLaurin Law at your next opportunity.
Jason McLaurin is a founding member of McLaurin Law. He has over a decade of experience representing clients at trial, arbitration, and mediation in matters concerning insurance policyholder recovery disputes, complex commercial litigation, and catastrophic personal injury claims. He also represents businesses as outside general counsel for clients in a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, maritime, technology, and professional services. He is licensed and handles matters in both Texas and Louisiana.