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Posted on December 1, 2017 in Insurance

It’s never convenient when you call your insurance company and file a claim – something has gone wrong and there’s damage to your property. Every claim is unique in the kind of damage sustained, but the process for repairs is consistent.

Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect when you file an insurance claim for repairs.

  1. Questions. The insurance company will have a lot of questions about the loss, areas of damage, source of damage, etc. Remember that you’ve got a contract with specific coverage they need to verify as they get ready to inspect the damage. Be patient, be honest, and remember they should be on your side.
  2. Inspection. Once the claim is in they will send an adjuster. It may be a company adjuster or a third-party adjuster (contract) depending on the company and where you live. Be super nice to this person because, frankly speaking, they have a hard job and a lot of influence in your claim results. They are people. You are people. Be nice to people.
  3. Payment. After they inspect the damage and confirm coverage, the adjuster will write up an estimate to determine payment. It typically looks like this:

    Replacement Cost Value (RCV) – Depreciation (age and condition adjustment) – Deductible = Actual Cash Value (ACV, your payment)

    No, it’s not enough to pay your damages completely up front. If you carry an RCV policy (most common) you’ll get that money back at the end of the process after final repairs and inspections. You should have funds available for initial repairs that can help secure a contractor and get things moving. You may also have a mortgage company involved – reach out to your company for guidelines on how to release funds. Most contractors will work with you on payments as they understand the money takes time to arrive.

  4. Scope Agreement. Your chosen contractor will work with your insurance company to make sure they are on the same page about needed repairs. This may require some additional inspections and negotiation, so make sure your contractor has experience dealing with insurance companies.
  5. Supplement Payment. Depending on the company, the insurance company may make additional payments based on the new scope to get your total ACV paid. They may also hold all payments until the final repairs are done or ask for a signed contract with your selected vendor. Either way, you’ll get paid and can pay your bills.
  6. Repairs. Once the scope is set, repairs start up! This may require you leave the house for a while. Make sure you understand the limits and process for this coverage, known as Alternative Living Expenses. Your contractor may also find additional costs as they tear out damage and will work with your insurance company on additional supplements. These are typically approved as things move forward and paid at the end of the process.
  7. Final Inspections/RCV Payment. Final repairs mean final payments. The insurance company will either request an inspection to confirm completion or just use the invoices provided by the contractor as proof. Either way, the final payments will come and the only amount you’ll be out is your deductible plus to the cost of an improvements you decided to make along the way.

The process may seem intimidating up front, but being able to trust your insurance company and your contractor can save you a great deal of headache as things move forward. If you’re currently stuck in a difficult repair situation, feel free to give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you figure out what to do next.

Disclaimer: Hillock Builders, LLC is not an insurance company nor do we provide adjusting services or other insurance products. Our views and opinions are our own and do not reflect any commitments on behalf of your or any insurance company regarding available policy coverage for your loss. Our recommendations are based on years of experience and general understandings of how insurance processes and policies work. Our articles are for information-only purposes in an effort to provide feedback on our experience in a complex and changing industry. Your insurance may work differently due to policy coverage or internal policies. We encourage you to seek assistance from your agent or another representative of your company with any disputes regarding your coverage and claim settlement practices.

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