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So You Filed an Insurance Claim? Top 10 Tips for a Successful Insurance Claim

May 3, 2016

Filing an insurance claim can be a stressful, time-consuming, and confusing endeavor. Although we have all been sold the belief that insurance companies are on our side, they often are only looking out for their bottom line. Since 2010, we have assisted home and business owners in recovering millions of dollars from their insurance companies for wrongfully denied and inadequately paid claims. We are here to serve the needs of our community and look forward to assisting you. Here are our Top 10 Tips for filing a successful insurance claim.

1. Review your insurance policy. Make sure you have a copy of your insurance policy and understand the coverage your policy offers. You can request a copy online or through your agent. Typical homeowner’s policies have Dwelling, Personal Property, Other Structure/Outbuilding, and Alternative/Additional Living Expense coverage. Commercial policies typically have Building, inventory, Machinery, Business Interruption Loss, amongst other coverages that a business owner may choose.

2. Know your coverage. Make sure you understand how your coverage pays for damage. The two methods by which insurance claims are paid are replacement cost value and actual cash value. Replacement cost value pays for the depreciated value it will cost to repair your property and pays the recoverable depreciation after repairs are completed, while actual cash value only pays the depreciated amounted.

3. Keep Evidence. A picture is worth 1,000 words! Take pictures of any direct physical damage to the interior and exterior of your home, fence, pools, sheds, and/or personal property. Also take pictures of collateral damage to your trees, planters, shrubs, gutters, trim, trashcans, and vehicles.

4. Be Present. Set up the insurance company inspection at a time that you can be present. Do NOT allow the insurance company's adjuster to inspect your home without your presence. 5. Follow Your Claim. Download your insurance company’s mobile app on your smart phone to easily monitor your claim.

6. Take Notes. Get full names, identification numbers, telephone numbers, and email addresses of the representatives you speak with, as well as documenting the date, time, and substance of your conversations.

7. Protect your property. Make all efforts that you can to prevent further damage to your property. If there is an opening in your property, make sure to cover it up. Insurance companies reimburse for costs of tarping, so call your local roofer and request that they tarp any broken windows, skylights, or holes in the roof.

8. Do Your Research. Exercise your due diligence in choosing a roofer and other contractors. Google reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau and word of mouth are all great resources.

9. Know your rights. The Texas Insurance Code mandates specific timelines and deadlines by which insurance companies must abide when handling your claim.

10. Hire a Professional. If your claim was wrongfully denied, inadequately inspected, or underpaid, you may want to contact a public adjuster. Public Adjusters are licensed by the State of Texas and work on behalf of the home and/or business owner. They can assist in simplifying the complicated process.

Unfortunately, even after following these tips, insurance companies may still deny or underpay your valid insurance claim. If you have specific questions, would like more information, or would like a list of reputable public adjusters, do not hesitate to contact Nicole Delahoussaye at (210)220-1373 or Clare Pace at (210) 220-1380 at your earliest convenience.

Author:

T. Nicole Delahoussaye
Associate Attorney
direct dial: (210) 220-1373
email: ndelahoussaye@mdtlaw.com