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 along.
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.
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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.