When damage to property or a personal casualty event occurs due to crime like vandalism, theft or accidental damage occurs from negligence of old plumbing, bathtub overflow, leaking toilet or shower; First things first when filing your property claim. If a crime has been committed, call the police. Be as cooperative as possible with local authorities such as police, rescue, or the fire department. Be sure to get a police report and document all the names of the officials that you come into contact with.
Next step is to mitigate any future loss or damage. This may require temporary repairs from a plumber if you are not handy with leaky pipes. At this point, it is always best to keep calm when considering your next steps. Good documentation, damage estimates, determining actual cash value and photographs are the homeowner’s responsibility and mandatory when filing a property insurance claim.
Now would be a good time to call your public adjuster, prior to your first phone call to your insurance company, at least to understand your policy coverage’s.
When working with Metro, you will first meet with a professional representative that will spend quality time reviewing your policy with you using an experienced eye to identify coverage limitations, policy exclusions and legal language that your insurance company may use as leverage to deny your claim. Your Metro claim advocate will conduct an inspection of the damage using a checklist and detailing damage you may have missed without a trained eye for consequential damage caused by your direct peril. With this information, together we can determine if you have a claim worth investigating and you may choose to engage our services at this time.
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Most policies have specific conditions that apply to theft losses. The most common is the duty of a policyholder to notify the police, as well as the insurer, of the theft. While this may seem like common sense, there may be a variety of instances where the policyholder fails to notify the police, and this could cause problems in getting the claim paid.
A small theft claim, for instance, may not seem like something that must be reported to the police, however, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Sure, many times the items stolen may be worth less than the policy deductible, but what happens if more items come up missing later? Often, policyholders do not notice that some items are missing until long after a burglary or theft, and failing to notify the police could create issues with the insurance company covering the loss.
Policyholders should also make sure to understand that notifying the police of a loss does not relieve them of their duty to report the loss to the insurer. As discussed in previous posts, if the insurer is not given notice of the loss, coverage could be denied.
The best practice when dealing with a potential theft loss is to immediately notify the police and insurance company. Most insurers closely evaluate theft claims many with an eye towards fraud. If notice is not given to the police or is unreasonably late, the insurer will likely take a more skeptical view. This can cause substantial delays, even if coverage is ultimately not denied.
I am a License and Bonded Public Adjuster in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. My mission is to walk you down the path to the American Dream of homeownership and much more...