Documenting Property Losses: An Essential Guide To Proving Damage Claims

April 27, 2023

Damage Claims

When your property has been damaged, whether due to natural causes or another person’s negligence, it is important to document the extent of your losses in order to prove your claim.

This involves taking photos, if possible, and collecting any relevant evidence. You should also contact your insurance company for instructions on what kind of documentation will be needed to prove your loss.

In stressful situations like this, you can seek the help of public adjusters. With their knowledge about insurance claim policies, they help to hasten your claims. As representatives of the policyholder’s behalf, they make sure you get the rightful claims you are entitled to. This article will provide some tips on how to document and prove your property damage claims.

A public adjuster comes in as a godsent in situations of dire need. They provide the proper guidance on how to file your claims the appropriate way. Public adjusters offer advice on how to lessen your losses.

But the majority of policyholders affected by Hurricane Ian in Florida last year chime in a different story. There had been news that many homeowners were struggling with their insurance claims. Policyholders believed their insurers had betrayed them as the number of denied claims increased.

As of March 2023, the latest data released by the Office of the Insurance Regulation shows a total of 708,255 claims reported. Of those claims, 179,998 were denied.  Lee Country leads the number of reported claims with a total of 252,994, with 50,570 claims declined.

As you can recall, Hurricane Ian slammed Florida in September 2022. You can’t deny that Hurricane Ian caused significant damage to thousands of properties. The storm surge flooded many communities with its gusty winds and destructive rains. This caused widespread destruction.

It swept away thousands of buildings and homes. The aftermath of Hurricane Ian was devastating. It left thousands of residents stranded and homeless. Thus, Hurricane Ian was the most expensive and damaging storm ever to hit Florida.

Hiring Public Adjuster

  • Hiring a public adjuster early will save you as much time.
  • They deal with insurance companies to maximize the payout.
  • The public claims adjuster can save you time and stress. Starting from preparing and filing to negotiating with the insurers.
  • Public adjusters understand insurance policies and their coverages.
  • Having a public adjuster can give you peace of mind. This can ease your anxiety during this difficult time.

How to Document and Prove Your Losses

  1. Take photos and videos: Take clear and comprehensive pictures and videos of the damage caused by the hurricane. This includes damage to the property, personal belongings, and other assets.
  2. Keep receipts and invoices: Keep all receipts and invoices related to repairing and replacing damaged items. Any other expenses incurred due to the hurricane damage are necessary.
  3. Get estimates: Get estimates from contractors and other professionals for the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged property.
  4. Keep a record of communication: Keep a record of all communication with your insurance company, including emails, letters, and phone calls. This proves that you have done everything you can to resolve the claim.
  5. Seek professional assistance: Consider hiring a public adjuster or an attorney specializing in hurricane damage claims. They can help you navigate the claims process. They provide guidance on the necessary documentation and advocate for your best interests.

Denied Claims

Insurance providers can have a lot of reasons to delay or even deny a claim. They have been persistent in their efforts to minimize payouts. This further ends up with more delays and disputes.

Here are some ways a public adjuster can do in the event of denied claims caused by Hurricane Ian:

  1. Expert Evaluation: A public adjuster could thoroughly evaluate the damage, say for example like the one caused by Hurricane Ian. This could include hidden or difficult-to-find damages. They could also give you an idea of how much repairs or replacements will cost.
  2. Negotiation: A public adjuster can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that they receive fair compensation. They can also guide the insurance policy and coverage options.
  3. Documentation: All the necessary documentation is provided to the insurance company to support the claim. This may include photographs, estimates, and other documentation.
  4. Timely Response: Remember to file the claim on time. They check all required documentation is submitted on schedule. This can help avoid delays or disagreements in the claims process.

Some common causes of denied claims:

  1. Policy Exclusions: Insurance policies often have exclusions. This limit or exclude coverage for certain types of damage or losses. If the cause of the damage falls within the policy’s exclusion, there can be a potential chance for denial of the claim.
  1. Failure to Disclose Information: If the policyholder fails to disclose important information or misrepresents information during the application process, the insurance company may deny the claim based on the policyholder’s misrepresentation.
  1. Delayed Reporting: It is a standard guideline for policyholders to report damage or loss right away. You can make a call or notify them online. In cases of medical emergency that prevents the policyholder from reporting, it is important to inform the insurers as soon as the policyholder is able to do so. The insurance company can assess the situation and determine the next step.
  1. Pre-Existing Conditions: The insurance company may deny the claim if the damage or loss results from a pre-existing condition. For example, if a policyholder files a claim for damage caused by a leaky roof, but upon investigation, it was already leaking beforehand, then it doesn’t qualify for a claim. Oftentimes, in such situations, there is a decline in approving the claim.

Types of property damage claims caused by Hurricane Ian

Types of property damage claims
  1. Wind Damage: High winds can cause roof damage, broken windows, and fallen trees, resulting in extensive property damage.
  2. Water Damage: Heavy rain and flooding can cause water damage to homes and businesses. This may end up having mold growth, structural damage, and other issues.
  3. Debris Damage: Hurricanes can cause debris to fly around, damaging structures, vehicles, and other property.
  4. Power Outages: Hurricanes can knock out power lines and cause prolonged power outages. This may cause damage to electrical systems and loss of food and other perishable items
  5. Business Interruption: Businesses can suffer significant losses due to hurricane damage. Not to mention, It includes losing income, damage to equipment, and other expenses.

Struggling With Your Claims Caused By Hurricane Ian?

It’s been a tough road for many policyholders affected by Hurricane Ian, with many being denied the compensation they deserve.

The devastating effects of the hurricane have left many policyholders with significant losses.  Hurricane Ian left some with minimal damage and others with catastrophic losses. Either ways, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty about insurance coverage payouts. The burden of delayed and denied claims only adds to difficulties.

Despite the efforts of licensed public adjusters to assist policyholders in filing claims, there are still a significant number of cases where policyholders have been left without proper compensation.

It is therefore essential to understand your rights and seek help if needed. Some legal professionals specialize in insurance disputes and can help you navigate the process.

How To Make A Claim For Long-Term Care

Additionally, you should document all damages and losses, stay in touch with your insurance company, and review your policy to ensure you know what you are entitled to.

It is time for the Insurance industry to prioritize policyholders to ensure they receive the support they need during natural disasters like Hurricane Ian. By working together, the insurance industry can improve its practices and help minimize the impact of future natural disasters.

Summing Up

Property damage can be a traumatic experience, but with the right documentation and preparation, you can make sure your claims are successful. Take time to accurately record all of the details from the damage itself to any additional costs or losses that may have been incurred, as this will help prove your case.

By understanding the basics of filing a property damage claim, and by seeking professional insurance claim representation, you’ll better equip yourself for dealing with the potentially difficult insurance process and get the compensation you deserve.

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Arnab dey

Arnab is a professional blogger, having an enormous interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of his professional commitments, He carries out sharing sentient blogs by maintaining top-to-toe SEO aspects. Follow more of his contributions at Finance Team

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