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Residential Property Insurance Claims
Making you Whole: Restoring and Replacing your Property
A property insurance claim is stressful for a homeowner, but for an insurer it is routine business.
A Policyholder needs to understand that they need to approach the adjustment and settlement of their property insurance claim as they would any other transaction involving their home. A residential property claim involves restoring or replacing the property – both the structure and the personal property inside the dwelling – to pre-loss conditions within the limits of insurance purchased. Policyholders are faced with the tasks of investigating and documenting losses and learning the terms and conditions of insurance policies: the insurance coverages available, limitations on those coverages, deductibles, conditions precedent, and specific requirements necessary to make an insurance claim.
Residential property insurance policies can provide terms such as :
In the event building codes have changed since the original structure was built, code upgrademay be covered as part of replacement cost coverage or may be excluded.
Additional living expenses pays the cost of living in a temporary location if a loss makes a damaged home unlivable. It is very important that you are treated especially fairly under these additional living expenses provisions as hardship can multiply when insurer bad faith comes with a refusal to pay at this early time.
If only part of the structure is repaired or replaced its important to demand that repairs blend seamlessly with the undamaged portions of the property as most policies provide for restoration to a seamless pre-loss condition.
Be aware of who the insurance company sends to assess your property insurance claim. Sometimes rather than properly licenses insurance adjuster, the first responders sent to assess the damage are not qualified. It is important to ask the person who visits your property for a business card, and it should state a first and last name and all license numbers (they should be licensed with the state). You must be attentive to what is being said and what is going on. Cooperating with insurance companies is a part of all policies, and you must think about who has your best interests in mind. The representatives are there to assess coverage for your loss, but they are working for the insurance company, not the policyholder. In most states, you have the right to hire your own adjuster or other expert who can help you understand all the information surrounding your policy and claim.
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