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How and When to Properly Document Damages for a Property Damage Claim

How and When to Properly Document Damages for a Property Damage Claim

Published August 30th, 2022 by Claim Help Lawyers

Florida is a beautiful state, but it’s not immune to the occasional natural disaster. Hurricane Sally’s devastating effects in 2020 serve as a stark reminder of this. The storm caused billions of dollars in property damage, but this wasn’t the only cost to Floridians.

Insurance companies were overwhelmed with claims, and many homeowners struggled to get the compensation they deserved. One of the biggest problems with these claims was the lack of documentation to the insurance companies to accurately present the claimed damages. Documenting damages is an essential part of the process, but many homeowners aren't sure how to do it.

Before filing your property damage claim, gather all the evidence you can so your insurance company reimburses you fairly. Keep reading for tips on a solid documentation process.

Photos

Photograph your property before Hurrican season starts every year with dates on the photos.  Photos are the most effective way to capture the damage to your property. Take a wide variety of pictures—front, back, and sides, both inside and outside photos with dates. Try to get images from different angles as well as in different lighting conditions throughout the day.

You should also take pictures of any contents within your home including valuables that were damaged, such as antique paintings or jewelry. If you have receipts for these items or other documentation that proves their value prior to being damaged, include them in your claim packet too.

Videos

Take a video of your entire property before the rainy season.  Videos can show the extent of the damage, and they can also illustrate how your property looked before the incident so that you can compare it with how it looks after. It’s important not to rely on a single video recording; make sure that you have at least 2 or 3 from different angles. Without detailed evidence, you risk getting denied by your insurance company.

Written Documentation

A written list of damages is an important part of any good property damage claim. Besides providing you with a detailed record of the damages you’re owed, it’s also a way to help you keep track of everything that you need to repair or replace.

You can use a notebook or tablet to document damages. However, a tablet might be the best choice. You can save your information in a cloud storage program so that you won’t lose it.

The Next Steps

Once you’ve filed your property damage insurance claim, your insurance company has 2 weeks to acknowledge it. After this, they will conduct an investigation and issue you a response which by statute must be done within 90 days of your filing the claim.  The information you are provided on whether the claim is accepted, denied or underpaid should also detail how much the repairs should cost. If you don’t agree with their estimate amount or payment from your insurance , you should the carrier know immediately that you dispute the amounts and hire a professional to assist you.

Ask a Lawyer About Your Property Damage Claim

If you believe you are owed money for property damages, it’s important to consult with an experienced property damage lawyer about your legal rights. A lawyer can advise you on the best way to be compensated from your insurance company, as well as whether suing or mediation is in your best interests.

If you want to be sure your property damage claim is handled correctly, don’t call just any lawyer. Get in touch with the experienced team at Knoerr Law Group. We’ve been dealing with insurance claims for over 50 years!


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