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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Many homeowners are concerned that filing a claim will raise there insurance rates. This is definitely not the case. After all, the reason we pay homeowners insurance is to protect us against loss of our most valuable investment, our home. Therefore, the insurance company does not raise your rates for using the very service you are paying for. Raising your rates for filing a claim would be equivalent to paying your car payment, and the monthly amount going up because you drove it.
One company laughed at the thought of premiums going up because a homeowner filed a single claim.
When it comes to auto insurance, filing a claim can have serious repercussions because your insurance company might jack up your premium the next time you renew. But what happens when you file that first homeowners claim? Will your premiums skyrocket or stay the same?
According to insurance companies, nothing happens. One company's representative even laughed at the thought of premiums going up because a homeowner filed a single claim. Spokespersons for many of the 10 largest homeowners companies went out of their way to stress this: "A single claim, almost regardless of its size or type, won't raise premiums."
And what insurance companies are saying seems to hold true in practice. Bob Hunter, the Consumer Federation of America's insurance expert, confirms, "One claim won't trigger a price increase."
One state department of insurance spokesperson says, "It's almost unheard of for a single claim to raise premiums, especially if it is an act of God." Act of God refers to an event caused entirely by the forces of nature.
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An office building suffers damage to its basement when it's toilets begin to overflow due to a blockage in their line. The claim submitted to the insurance company was for the replacement of the damaged carpet. The total amount submitted was roughly $7,000.00. The insurance company refused to pay the amount claimed.
The insurance company claimed that the carpet was worn out and therefor should not be replaced. A carpet salesman recommended that the owners of the building hire our firm. Within an hour, the claim was signed up. Metro was able to negotiate a settlement that included cleaning of the entire basement area, as well as replacing the damaged walls and repainting the basement.
Remarkably, the insurance company agreed to replace the carpet that they felt was worn out. The total settlement was just over $99,000. Quite a bit of difference between what the insurance company originally offered and what the claim finally settled for.
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...