As you move forward in the claim filing process, we have a few other tips that can help you get the best results possible. These five tips will help you successfully deal with your insurance adjuster and make sure they’re paying you for the damages they’re responsible for covering.
1. Document the Storm
If you’re able, record the storm as it’s happening. Document how long it lasts, any power outages that occur, etc. Anything that indicates the severity of the storm can help to prove that the storm actually happened and that it caused extensive damage you should be compensated for.
Many property owners have found it useful to record the size of the hail, and take pictures and/or videos of it as it comes down. You may even benefit from bringing some of it inside and freezing it if you’re at home and remember to do so!
2. Take Plenty of Photos
After the storm passes, be sure to take plenty of photos. Wait for a time when the sky is a bit clearer, and you have better lighting to reflect the damage. Mornings and evenings are usually the best times to capture the divots that hail leaves.
While you’re taking photos, your roof is just one thing to consider. Make sure you also take pictures of siding, gutters, AC units, or any other parts of your home that might’ve suffered damage from hail. Keep in mind that hail storms tend to come with some wind, so photograph any potential wind damage you find as well.
3. Try to Schedule Your Contractor to Be Present
Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to have your contractor present. They can walk your insurance adjuster around your house and explain the damage from a professional perspective.
If you can’t have a contractor present at the time of an appraisal, it’s smart to at least have them get up there and take a look when they can. Once they record their findings, you can present them to your insurance adjuster. This won’t provide you with as much credibility as you’d get if they were present, but it does count for something.
4. Come Prepared with Questions
It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions ready before your adjuster arrives. Take some time to review your insurance policy, re-familiarize yourself with your manufacturers’ warranties, and jot down any questions that come out of that digging.
By preparing yourself with questions to ask ahead of time, you’ll show your adjuster that you’ve worked to inform yourself about the situation. You’ll also have a better understanding of your rights, so you can better negotiate your compensation.
5. Ask for a Detailed Explanation of Their Offer
When your adjuster offers a settlement, be sure to ask for a detailed breakdown. Take as much time as you need to read through and study that settlement before making a decision and signing anything. You don’t need to, and often shouldn’t, accept an insurance company’s first offer.
If the settlement they offer seems low or unfair, keep negotiating. And if you get to a point where you need help negotiating, contact a property insurance claim lawyer in your area. They’ll be able to dive a little deeper, advocate for your rights, and get you the payout you’re entitled to.