Property Claims 101: What to do in the event of a property loss

Large commercial property. Understand what to do in the event of a property loss and how to handle a claim.

    Property Claims 101: What to do in the event of a property loss

    Understand what to do in the event of a property loss and how to handle a claim. At Morris & Garritano, we’re here to help.

     

    Hopefully, you will never suffer a property loss, but in the event of disaster, it’s helpful to have some idea ahead of time of how the claims process works. With M&G, you’re never alone. 

    The first thing to do, before calling the insurance company, is to take steps to mitigate the damage. See sparks? Grab a fire extinguisher (if safe to do so) or call the fire department! See a leak? Turn off the water! Keep in mind your personal safety and that of others should always be top of mind. 

    After you’ve assessed the immediate cause and extent of the damage, call a disaster restoration company. They’ll send out a mitigation team to perform cleanup and temporary repairs to stop the damage from getting any worse. Once things are under control, then call your insurance company – or us! – to get a claim started. 

    After the claim is reported and set up in the company’s system, an adjuster will contact you to discuss the claim. The adjuster is the individual assigned to a claim to investigate the loss, confirm coverage under the policy, and pay damages as appropriate. 

    Often, the adjuster works in a city far from the loss location. If that’s the case, they might assign an independent adjuster (or field adjuster) to inspect your property, confirm how it was damaged, and to estimate how much it will cost to repair or replace it. 

    Assuming the damage is covered by the policy, the office adjuster will send you payment based on the independent adjuster’s repair estimate. You will then select and hire a contractor to perform the repairs. (Keep in mind, you don’t have to use the same company that provided emergency repairs at the beginning of the loss!) 

    It’s also important to remember that accepting payment on a property claim does not constitute a final settlement. If your contractor determines that the cost of repairs is higher than the insurance company’s estimate, he/or can request a supplement – or additional payment – from the insurance company. By the same token, if you discover that you’ve incurred claims-related costs apart from what’s listed in the repair estimate, be sure to let your adjuster know so that those costs can be considered for reimbursement as well. 

    Most claims are resolved without any major hiccups. However, from time to time, issues do arise. At Morris & Garritano, our dedicated Claims Advocacy team is here to help. Should you have questions or need assistance with a new or existing property, auto, or liability claim, please give our office a call. 

    What "covered" should feel like.

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