Questions to Ask Your Insurer After a Disaster

Questions to Ask Your Insurer

When faced with an insurance claim, many home and business owners just like you have asked the same questions: How do I estimate my loss? Will I recover enough to rebuild? Can I do this myself?

The insurance claims process (especially if this is your first claim) can become time consuming and confusing quickly. To help you obtain a full and expedited recovery, we put together a useful list of questions to ask your insurer after a disaster:

Assigned Team

  • Who is my main point of contact going to be throughout this claims process?
  • Who is the insurance adjuster assigned to my claim/case?
  • How will the adjuster keep me apprised of the progress on my claim?
  • Will forensic accountants, estimators, engineers, and other professionals be hired by the insurer to accurately document my damages?
  • Are any of my claim preparation costs for my own experts covered by my policy?

Your Responsibilities

  • What documents will the insurer require me to complete?
    • Are there time constraints?
    • Where can I access these forms?
  • How do I prepare an inventory of my belongings?
    • What information does the insurance company need per item?
    • Is there a preferred methodology to properly photograph the loss for documentation?
    • What if everything is destroyed and not able to be identified?
    • Who decides what to try to clean? Do I have a say in the matter?
  • Should I begin cleaning up, while waiting for the insurance company to send an adjuster, or can I hire my own cleaning/restoration team?
  • Should I begin repairing or replacing anything?
    • Can I do any repairs myself?

Insurance Coverages and Exclusions

  • Does my insurance policy definitely cover this type of disaster?
  • What damages to my property are not covered under my insurance policy?
  • What coverages are needed in order to be covered for these types of damages in the future?
  • What are my policy limits?
  • What is my deductible?
    • How is the deductible applied?
  • Is my policy an Actual Cash Value policy or a Replacement Cost Value policy?
  • How are the valuation methods applied to my claim?

Settlement and Funds

  • Am I entitled to an advance from the insurance company?
  • What is the process for determining the amount of my settlement?
  • How and when do I receive my settlement funds?
  • What happens if I am not receiving everything I’m entitled to?
  • What happens if my claim is denied?

For Business Owners

  • What are my options when it comes to rebuilding my property or replacing it? Does coverage apply for either option?
  • What do I need to know about collecting code coverage allowances?
  • How do I get compensated for lost sales and loss of business income?
  • Am I covered for emergency costs and additional expenses such as mitigation, relocating, payroll, etc.?
  • Is there coverage for my employees’ personal property?
  • Is there coverage for my customers’ property?
  • What do I do with damaged inventory?

For Homeowners

  • Will I be reimbursed for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) such as rental of a temporary location, food costs, etc.?
    • How will I be reimbursed for these costs?

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For help with preparing, settling, or negotiating your insurance claim, contact our team of expert public adjusters today by calling 800.382.2468.