When storm damage occurs, you expect the insurance company to repair the damage with no questions asked after you’ve paid your deductible. However, that’s not always what happens. Many people have their claim denied or receive a payment that’s far less than what’s needed to make the needed repairs. In other instances, the insurer may find ways to delay payment.
It’s important that you understand that insurance companies are always seeking ways to save on the amount of money they spend on claims. The insurance company will send an adjuster to survey the damage and place a dollar amount on what repairs will cost. The adjuster works in the interests of the insurance company and will also be looking at ways to minimize payouts.
Insurers may reject a claim if the adjuster determines that you could have prevented the damage by taking certain actions or that the damage was due to actions that you didn’t take. The insurer may also claim that you neglected regular maintenance or upkeep.
Every homeowner’s policy states what’s covered, along with exclusions for certain types of risks. Based on the insurance adjuster’s report, your insurance company may claim that the damage was the result of an excluded cause.
Documentation of the contents of your home is essential. You need to have images of every item in your home in the event that you need to make a claim. You should keep receipts for any new household purchases. If you make a claim for items in the home connected to storm damage, insurers may claim there’s insufficient documentation for the loss or there was an undisclosed improvement.
You have to make sure that the damages reported on your claim match what the adjuster determined. If not, the claim can be rejected on the basis of misrepresentations. If you have difficulty with the insurance company, you can hire a public adjuster who will work with the insurer on your behalf to obtain a sufficient payout.