Monthly Archives: July 2013

What to do after a Fire or Storm

Hopefully, you will never have to deal with fire or storm damage to your multi-family property. However, if damage does occur, knowledge of the insurance claims process can help you get problems fixed as efficiently as possible. You should always keep a copy of your policy in a safe place. Read through the policy thoroughly so that you understand your protection.

Clubhouse FireDo not wait to take action when your property has been damaged. The property could become further compromised. The first thing you should do is thoroughly document all the damage that you can find. Take multiple pictures for your records. These will help you with the process of filing your insurance claim. Make note of the date of the damage.

Contact your insurance agent immediately. This will help you get started with the claims procedure. There are many facets to the insurance process. It’s a good idea to get in touch with a reliable, qualified contractor immediately. They can help you with the documentation process. Experienced contractors understand the types of damage that typically occur during fire and storms. They can help document damage that you may not find on your own.

It’s important to get a thorough estimate on repairs and rehabilitation from your contractor. This can help you compare estimates among service providers. Make sure your contractor is experienced with working on multi-family units. This way, they will understand the complexity of the job thoroughly. It’s a good idea to work with a contractor that has multi-faceted experience so that they can help you with all aspects of the repair project.

What if your insurance company provides a settlement that is less than the repair estimates that you receive? This is a common problem. Sometimes, insurance company data on the cost of repairs is out of date. In other cases, the insurance company misses some of the property damage that has occurred.  An experienced contractor can help you in this situation. They will be able to negotiate with your insurance company to get the appropriate settlement for your repair needs. Your contractor can be an advocate for you during the settlement and repair process.

Dealing with Insurance after Damage Occurs

If your multi-family property has been seriously affected after a storm, fire or other serious incident, you may have a major rehabilitation project on your hands. Most serious repairs can’t be put off. You may have leaky roofs, broken windows, damaged paint jobs and a host of other issues. You will need to immediately contact your insurance agent.

storm-multifamilyYou should fully document the damage that has occurred on your property. Take pictures of all the problems you find and keep a comprehensive list of all the damaged items. If you have a relationship with an experienced contractor, contact them for help with documentation. They will be able to find damage that may not be obvious to the naked eye. They can inspect your roofing, electrical systems, roofing and other parts of the building to insure that they are intact. It’s important to work with a contractor that has significant experience with multi-family properties. The company should have expertise in electrical, roofing, painting, plumbing and concrete issues so that they can fully assist you with the process.

Your insurance company may require a lot of paperwork and inspections before they pay you for damages. Some insurance companies have out-of-date information about the costs involved in repairing the damage to property. They may try to get you to agree to a lower settlement than you need. An experienced repair contractor will be able to help you work with the insurance company.

It’s common for both the claimant and the insurance company to conduct inspections of any damage. Typically, claimants must provide inspection reports at the time that they file the claim.  A good contractor can provide you with comprehensive pre-inspection. Most insurance companies require inspections on roofing, HVAC, electrical components and plumbing as a part of the insurance claims process. An experienced contractor can help not only with the inspection but with the process of interacting with the insurance company.

Your contractor may provide you with a different estimate than the amount offered by the insurance company. This may happen when the insurance adjuster misses damaged items. The insurance company may not have information on current market pricing which can lead to a low estimate. A good contractor can communicate with your insurance company to help resolves these discrepancies.