Snow and ice damage claims come in all shapes and sizes, and many homeowners don’t even know or fully understand what’s in their current policy besides a lot of industry jargon. They often assume that damage caused by winter storms will be included in their policy coverage. However, just because such coverage might be in the policy, there are offsets insurers use to reduce final settlements.
Reports of roofs collapsing under the weight of ice and snow are reported often. Homeowners are complaining about roof leaks caused by ice dams as snow freezes and water backs up under the shingles. If you’ve experienced damage to your Pennsylvania or New Jersey property because of the winter weather, chances are you’ll be filing an insurance claim shortly. But handling the claim yourself and getting a fair settlement can be extremely confusing, tedious and intimidating.
For instance, direct damage caused by sudden accidents, like a falling tree, burst pipes, or heavy winds are normally covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. But those claim amounts can be reduced due to ongoing property neglect, deterioration, and other insufficient property maintenance, while the damage may be a valid claim, the adjuster will certainly take those factors into account. Such mitigation can even negate a claim, as the insurer will argue if the home had been properly prepared and/or maintained, the damage would not be as severe or even had occurred at all.
Homeowners Prep For Snow And Ice Damage Claims
Before you rush into filing an insurance claim for snow or ice damage, it’s time to prepare. You’ll want to do everything by the book so not to have your insurance claim rejected.
The first course of action is to stop the damage from getting any worse and protect your furniture and other personal belongings. You need to take the initiative and have the fallen tree removed, collapsed roof, ice dams or whatever is the cause of the problem. But make sure to preserve as much as possible.
Next, hire an experienced and licensed public adjuster. Insurance policies are filled with industry jargon, so it’s best to have a certified public adjuster go through your homeowner’s policy and translate it for you. The adjuster will also help you determine how to structure your claim for maximum effectiveness.
Due Diligence For Maximum Settlement
You must take the steps to document all the damage and preserve every piece of evidence for maximum settlement. Photos are a must, as will preserving all damaged property. Do not clean up and dispose of what would otherwise be valid evidence.
Ensure your snow and ice damage claim is detailed, think it out. If you have snow and ice damage, most likely you will have snow and ice melting into the interior of your home, which will bring water damage. What’s likely to follow is mold, and you may need to have a mold remediation company check the mold type and progress and this should also be part of your claim.
The Settlement. Don’t accept the first settlement offer. When you report a loss, an adjuster will come out to evaluate your property. Insurance adjusters base their costs on replacement, and average material costs. If you do get a check, don’t deposit it until you’ve reviewed and agree with it 100%.
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About American Claims Ensurance
American Claims Ensurance specializes in homeowners and business insurance claim representation. We work vigorously and for YOU to ensure you get the highest possible settlement from the insurance company. Best of all, when you hire the best public adjusters to represent you, you will not have to deal with the stress of working with your insurance company.
American Claims Ensurance offers our insurance claim representation services on a contingency fee basis to YOU. That means, that if we do not collect any funds for you, we do not get paid at all. We will handle the entire claim process from beginning to end and make sure you get the settlement YOU deserve.
American Claims Ensurance has decades of combined experience and expertise knowledge on how the claim process works. We will also help to expedite your water damage or other type of claim as quickly as possible.
We represent home and business owners and are retained as expert witnesses by various law firms in a variety of property loss claims, including: