Report your Claim
Once your claim has been reported an adjuster will be assigned to review your coverage and schedule a time for an
inspection. The adjuster will determine the damages and provide an estimate of repair costs. You will need to contact a
suitable contractor to make the repairs.
Keep a file for yourself that contains information on the loss that includes: date of loss, contact information for your
adjuster, policy number, claim number. Drop all correspondence from your adjuster, estimates from contractors,
information about a time line to accomplish your repairs, etc., in this file. Keep a telephone log of all conversations
regarding your claim.
If at any time you believe the claims process is not working efficiently, or you are concerned or have questions, don’t
hesitate to contact your agent for assistance. Our job is to be your advocate and help you through this.
The claims process can be frustrating and may take some time. Here are some things you should do to help the process
- Quickly report the claim – either directly to your insurer or contact your agent for help.
- Protect your property from further damage (temporary cover on roof, plywood over windows/doors, etc.) Preventing further damage is your responsibility.
- Record the damage, make a detailed written list and take photos.
“Actual Cash Value” vs “Replacement Cost”
Your policy may provide replacement cost on the dwelling once repairs are completed. Your initial payment is typically
the actual cash value portion of your loss, which reflects depreciation based on the age and condition of the damaged
items. The depreciation is a hold back amount pending completion of your repairs. When you submit your final invoices
you will collect those funds that were held back from the original payment amount.
“My contractor’s estimate is higher than what the insurance adjuster plans to pay me. What do I do?”
Contact your adjuster right away, and in many cases the adjuster will speak with your contractor to see what the
differences are and make corrections if necessary. This part of the process if pretty common. After a severe storm like
we had here in Billings in May people are working long and hard hours and things may get missed.
Ask how long you have to complete your repairs, and what is the process to request an extension if you need one.
Pay attention to the quality of the roofing materials that you are considering. Some insurance companies will offer
discounts for certain types of impact resistant shingles. Keep a label from your shingles which should show the UL or
FM ratings. The insurance company does not owe you an upgraded roof product, however if you choose to make an
additional investment in your home it may result in a credit on your homeowner’s insurance premium if you replace
your old shingles with a better quality, impact resistant selection. This choice may also help you avoid the excitement of
another claim on your roof in the near future.
Darnielle Insurance is available to answer your questions.
We are located at 1320 28th Street West, Billings, MT 59102.
Give us a call at 406-652-4180.
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