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I have an insurance claim, what now?

July 29, 2009

Chad M. Olson

8330 N. Teutonia Ave # 203

Brown Deer, WI 53223




You have a claim: Here’s how your insurance company will help


July 28, 2009 — High winds cause a large tree to fall through the roof of your home. Since you’ve never had an insurance claim before, two questions immediately come to mind: “What can I expect from my insurance company and what can I do to help with the process?”


First, report your claim. You can do this by calling your agent or the insurance company’s claim call center, if it has one. You’ll be asked to provide your policy number, brief description of what happened and phone numbers where you can be reached.


If your home has sustained serious damage, take prompt and reasonable steps to prevent additional damage. Use plywood, tarps or other materials to cover broken windows and damaged rooftops. Keep copies of the receipts for your adjuster.


An adjuster will contact you to arrange a visit to your property. Once there, the adjuster will inspect your home and begin to develop repair estimates. If you have time, compile a list of any damaged furnishings or personal items before the adjuster arrives. Include the make, model, age and serial number of each item.


Once the investigation is completed, the adjuster will contact you to review your claim and settlement amount. You will then receive your claim payment minus your policy deductible.


Remember, the insurance company will pay for materials that are of like kind and quality to the materials that were damaged. If you want to upgrade materials or make an improvement, you will be responsible for the additional cost.


It is your responsibility to select a contractor and arrange for repairs. It is usually best to select a local contractor who has operated in the area for several years, has adequate insurance and is willing to give you a written guarantee.


If you have problems getting the repairs done for the claim payment, call your adjuster prior to hiring a contractor so you can discuss a resolution.


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