If your building was damaged in some way, or you or someone else were injured in your building, you may need to file a building insurance claim. This can sometimes be complicated, especially without the assistance of a skilled attorney who is familiar with the insurance world. Here's what you need to know about how to file a building insurance claim.
1. Review Your Policy
The first thing you want to do when your building has been damaged is to review your policy in detail, including reading the fine print. Before you file a claim, you want to be reasonably confident about what your insurance should or should not cover. This means that if you are certain your policy covers the type of damage your building sustained, and your claim is denied, your insurance company may be acting in bad faith and you may have a stronger foundation for an appeal.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company to let them know there has been damage to your building. You may file a claim at this time. Answer all questions asked by your insurance company honestly and provide any documentation needed, including photographs of the damage, when the damage occurred, and how the damage occurred.
3. Obtain Independent Quotes for Repairs
While your insurance company is processing your claim, it is in your best interest to obtain independent quotes from more than one provider. Ask them approximately how much it will cost to have your building repaired or restored to the condition it was in before the damage.
4. Review the Insurance Company's Settlement Offer
When the insurance company contacts you with a settlement offer, do not immediately accept it. The offer won't suddenly go away if you take your time to think about it. You'll want to be sure that the offer matches the quotes you received on repairs. If the offer is below what it will actually cost to fix your building, you may want to counteroffer.
When to Contact an Attorney
At any point in the process of filing a building insurance claim
, it's beneficial to reach out to a lawyer. However, in the event that your settlement offer is too low or your insurance claim was flat-out denied, it becomes even more important to have an attorney on your side. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A. for a consultation to discuss your claim by calling us at (954) 763-4950.