Common Insurance Claim Questions Winter Storm Policyholders Will Ask
As public adjusters, we continue to assist policyholders with property insurance claims after severe winter storms like we have experienced in Boston, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and other markets this winter. Roof collapse, ice dams, frozen pipes, water damage and yes even wind damage will be common occurrences. We’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions we get after these types of events and offer them below to help homeowners and businesses recover if they have a claim. Got a property insurance claim question? Send it to us.
1. If my property is damaged but I’m snowed in what should I do?
Answer: Do everything you can to mitigate and prevent further damage. Take lots of photos and don’t discard anything. Make sure your insurer approves any repair estimates or you may be on the hook for payment.
2. I had previous damage and filed a claim that was repaired not too long ago. If I get more damage, can I still make a claim?
Answer: Yes, each incident or storm is treated as a separate damage event. But you may need to show when and what was repaired from the old damage. Don’t give the insurance company an excuse to
3. What should I know if I need emergency services from a restoration company?
Answer: Get approval from your insurance company first. Don’t sign a repair contract that assigns the insurance claim benefits to the contractor. Make sure they are licensed and make sure you understand the costs if items are removed and stored away.
4. What if my home is uninhabitable? Will my insurance pay for a hotel and living expenses?
Answer: You typically will be covered under a standard policy provision called Additional Living Expenses. We have a great post that explains ALE here.
5. What kinds of winter storm damage should my policy cover? Or not cover!
Answer: Every policy is different and you should have a professional adjuster, insurance agent or attorney review it. In general you can check the declaration pages in your policy and should be covered for:
Coverage A - Damage to your home
Coverage B - Damage to other structures including garage, deck or swimming pool
Coverage C - Loss or damage to the contents of your home
Coverage D - Loss of use in case your home is not inhabitable
Coverage E - Personal liability to third parties
Coverage F - Medical payments to third parties
6. If I file an insurance claim will my premiums go up or my policy cancelled?
Answer: Most states have laws guarding you against policy cancellation or getting singled out for an increase due to claim damage from an Act of God. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company in any way, be sure to contact your state insurance office.
Remember, it’s your claim and your property. If you have a large or complicated claim, consider enlisting a public adjuster claim expert to make sure your claim is properly handled. Finally, remember Life, Health, and Safety, always trumps any cost consideration. If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts. Let us know what insurance claim questions you have about your Winter Storm claim.