Disasters are typically unpredictable and unforeseen. Depending on where you live, the most probable disasters to potentially strike your home may involve floods, earthquakes, fires, and tornados. If your property is destroyed or damaged, you’ll likely have several questions and face a number of important decisions to make. Concerns over emergency repairs, temporary shelter, and the general expense of rebuilding or restoring your home can be often overwhelming for most people.
What to Do Before Disaster Strikes
Your best protection against a sudden devastating loss is your homeowner’s insurance. Therefore, it’s crucial to have some kind of insurance coverage regarding your personal belongings and property.
Here are a few things you can do to help yourself before an unexpected disaster strikes in order to make the claim handing process somewhat easier overall.
• Take inventory of all your personal property. Record all serial and model numbers on your most expensive items, such as TVs, computer systems, DVRs, etc. It’s always a good idea to keep these receipts since they can provide key information including the purchase date, price, and store name. Also, keep your inventory records at a different location rather than your home.
• Keep your insurance adjuster’s information handy. Store the number and address of both your insurance company and adjuster in your phone in case you need to quickly contact them.
• Make a photocopy of your insurance policy and keep it in a safe place somewhere outside of your home.
• Get familiar with what your insurance policy does and doesn’t cover. Be sure you fully understand the difference of ACV (actual cash value) and replacement cost coverage concerning your contents. Keep in mind that ACV will replace your contents at cost minus the depreciation according to current market price.
What to Do After Disaster Strikes
1. Hire a public adjuster.
It’s likely you’re overwhelmed after a sudden disaster in addition to the tasks that come with it and may not have the ability to settle on an acceptable claim. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to hire a public adjuster, which is a licensed, independent individual whom you compensate in order to negotiate with your insurance provider on your behalf. Usually, you’ll pay the adjuster somewhere between 10-15 percent of what you end up recovering from your insurance provider. This can potentially be well worth it if your adjuster is successful in substantially increasing your insurance settlement.
2. Make essential basic repairs.
Your insurance provider will not recommend making any significant changes to your property until you can meet with your adjuster at Benchmark PA. Ideally, you should make any basic repairs as quickly as possible. These include things like adequately covering any broken windows or placing a tarp over a damaged roof.
If a part of your loss wasn’t covered by your insurance policy, you may potentially qualify for other kinds of assistance. This is especially true in the case of a hurricane or flood.