Monday, September 21, 2009

Flood Claims: Top Ten Tips On How To File Your Water Damage Insurance Claims

By Russell D. Longcore

Northern Georgia has been inundated with heavy rains over the last week. This has caused localized flooding, toppling trees and flooded roadways.

What do you do if your automobile or vehicle has been damaged by flood waters? What do you do if your home has sustained flood damage? Now, you’ll begin the cleanup, recovery and repair process. Many of you will be submitting insurance claims for damage to your home, business or vehicle. Let me share a few strategies to help you add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement.

Vehicle Damage Claims

1. Remember that when flood waters damage your vehicle, it will be covered by the “Other Than Collision” or “Comprehensive” coverage, not your Collision coverage. Make sure you know what your OTC deductible is.
2. Take your damaged vehicle to the body shop of YOUR CHOICE, not the choice of the insurance company. It’s YOUR vehicle, not theirs.
3. Insist on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, not cheap aftermarket parts. The insurance company has a legal duty to return you car to its pre-loss condition. Cheap aftermarket parts are not as safe as OEM parts.
4. Perform a very careful inspection and test drive of your vehicle after repairs are completed. If you need to, have a qualified mechanic do the inspection for you. Document any uncompleted repairs, and make sure they get done right then.
5. If your vehicle is a total loss, get written appraisals from dealers of your choice to be sure that the insurance company pays you all that you are entitled to collect. Don’t just accept the first total loss offer from the insurance company...they ALWAYS try to “lowball” you.

Building Damage Claims

1. Mitigate your damages...board up and tarp the home or business if necessary. The costs are covered.
2. Call a restoration contractor, not just a remodeling contractor.
3. Get your chosen contractor to meet with the insurance adjuster and agree on the scope of damages. Don’t just accept an estimate written by the adjuster.
4. If your home is too damaged to live in, your policy may have Additional Living Expense coverage. Carefully document all your expenses over and above your normal expenses while you’re living in a hotel or apartment.
5. If you have heavy damage to your home or business, consider consulting with a Public Adjuster to help you with your claim. They are claims professionals, and can customarily help you maximize your settlement amount.
If you have experienced a property loss, you need to know winning insurance claim strategies. The insurance company will not tell you the claims process, but I will. I will show you how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement.

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© Copyright 2009 Russell D. Longcore. All rights reserved.
Russell Longcore is available for interviews about insurance claim strategies. These strategies will show your audience how to add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to their claim settlements.
Russ is available for interview on short notice by phone at 678-234-2923.