A catastrophe is an event that causes substantial damage to homes and property. A catastrophe could be a fire, storm, flood, earthquake, hurricane or man-made disasters such as terrorism.
If a catastrophe occurs and your house happens to be one of its casualties, you can be compensated for its damage or loss if your house is covered by fire, flood, or homeowner’s insurance. To seek indemnity for your loss, you need to file a claim and work with a knowledgeable catastrophe insurance adjuster to expedite your claim.
In the same way we work with policy holders when we process property claims in Arkansas, a catastrophic insurance adjuster is able to walk you through the entire process. But you need to understand that as the policy holder, you also have a set of responsibilities to fulfill to make sure that your claim is acknowledged and processed promptly. Here are the most important steps you need to take:
1. Be sure to report the damage caused by the catastrophe to your insurer without delay.
2. You and your claims adjuster must establish and maintain that no unnecessary delay ever occurred when you responded to the catastrophe that led to damage or loss.
3. It’s highly possible that your insurer will ask you to sign a non-waiver agreement which specifies that you recognize your insurer’s right to contest coverage even if your insurer has conducted an investigation of the claims.
4. Your insurer may send you a reservation of rights letter to advise you of important things including:
- Your duties with regards to the policy
- Applicable conditions to the loss
- Exclusions that might apply to facts about the loss
5. Let your case move forward by signing the non-waiver agreement and accepting the reservation of rights. It serves as your gesture of consent to the status quo. Your acceptance and signature only signifies that you recognize your insurer’s investigation is not a waiver of any of the insurer’s rights provided by the terms of the policy.
6. Your catastrophe insurance adjuster will let you know of the coverage and limitations of the policy you purchased.
7. You may ask your adjuster for names of reputable professional contractors who have experience and skills in fire reconstruction, water/moisture elimination and prevention of further loss.
8. Make regular follow ups with your adjuster to make sure that they are performing their contractual obligations regarding your claim.
9. If for any reason, you failed to protect your property from further damage or loss, your adjuster will let you know in writing how that failure could affect your claim.
10. In the absence of constraints, your insurer may consider granting you advance payments to allow you and your family to find a place to live while your home is being repaired or reconstructed.
11. You are still entitled to additional payments even if your house was not damaged if you abandoned your house upon the order of the state government, Homeland Security, federal government, or your local police department.
12. Your additional living expense coverage is intended to pay only the amounts exceeding your normal expenses. It does not cover your entire post-loss expenses.
13. Don’t forget to keep receipts of all of your post-loss expenses.
Once the rights, duties and responsibilities of the insurer and policy holder are defined, the initial investigation will begin. When the investigation is finished, the insurer will conduct a review of the terms and conditions of the policy as well as the relevant laws involved to determine whether the damage or loss is covered. Once a decision is made, your adjuster will let you know of the insurer’s decision.
Most insurance claims are not complicated; they just require a keen eye for details on the part of the policy holder. As the insured party and catastrophe insurance claimant, you must work closely with your catastrophic insurance adjuster to make sure that your claim is resolved in an expeditious and fair manner.
Making and expediting insurance claims on behalf of insurance policy holders is one of the things we specialize in at Action Claim Service!
Call us at (501) 325-1697 for claim services needs.