Insurance claims can be almost as mysterious as the storms and flames that cause them. Metts Legal champions your cause when catastrophies happen.
We know the laws that bridge gaps between the policy holder and the insurance company when disputes arise.
Let’s start at the beginning: Mankind has made mighty strides in controlling his environment. Strong buildings and early warning systems protect our people and our civilization. Yet every spring nature brings her winds, floods, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes against us. At these times, we realize how instantly we can become weak and helpless against the forces of nature.
Against the forces that cause steel to twist, concrete to break and living creatures to drown, burn or die, stand the men and women of the rescue industry. And in the aftermath of storm or fire, stands financial protection of the insurance companies and the power to rebuild.
Every time you make your insurance payments, you are helping prepare for the catastrophes that might happen to your town, your family and your home.
Insurance: On the March to Pay Claims
Already 2017 has brought us a bumper crop of spring storms, destroying property and disrupting human lives. And already insurance companies and catastrophic weather is locked in a timeless struggle to re-balance the safety of families and restore the security of property in the wake of spring storms.
Insurance: On the One Hand, Claims Mean Companies and Companies-in-Debt
For example, the National Security Group, Inc., released estimates of 2017 to date spring storm losses incurred by property/casualty subsidiary National Security Fire & Casualty.”
They are a “primarily personal lines insurer offering coverage in 10 states…” Already, with the spring storms barely begun,
the company is publishing its own losses even as it attempts to pay off legitimate claims. They present transparent and sizeable company losses on the first quarter of 2017.
They have stated, “The unusually warm weather in the Southeastern U.S. led to an increase in both frequency and severity of storm related losses throughout the first quarter. The 731 catastrophe related claims incurred during the first quarter of 2017 averaged approximately $4,800 per claim; in comparison, the 385 catastrophe related claims in the first quarter of last year averaged approximately $3,800 per claim.”
And the above is just the report of one company. So, as a side note, it is easy to see why you pay so much for home and property insurance.
In the above example of National Security Group., Inc., the company predicted ending the first quarter of 2017 with a loss up to $450,000. Then came the storms of the week of April 20, 2017. As the company pays claims of 260 more families, their losses will probably exceed 669,000.00, just for the second quarter of the year.
Insurance: On The Other Hand, Claims Mean Victims and Reconstruction
Metts Legal want you to know that we are here to bring you legal knowledge and power if Nature causes damage to your property and you need to settle an insurance claim. We want you to be aware of your rights before the hurricane, before the flood, the tornado or the fire.
Your property insurance is something you never think about until you need it. Paying it becomes routine, like your mortgage, your car payment, or utilities. It’s automatic.
This blog is designed to help you gain the respect of your insurance company, before you ever need them. We want to help you, to prepare yourself in case you ever need to make a claim.
Insurance Claims: Six Simple Steps to Be Prepared For the Worst Case Scenario
No one likes to think about property devastation or the consequences of storm season or a catastrophic fire. But If you ever need to make a claim, then certain records you have maintained will be critical to a smooth and cordial settlement if you and your family are involved in a catastrophic fire, flood or disaster. In general, before disaster ever strikes, take the time to make some detailed records of the treasures you own.
1. Inventory Time: Never before has it been so simple to make photos and videos of your treasured belongings.
However, you can also do this without a bit of technology; just make a written list. Store a copy off-site, like in a safety deposit box.
2. Document Diligence: A fire-proof safe should be one of your first priorities in organizing your personal papers. It doesn’t need to be a big one. It does need to hold your basic documented life.
3. Keep Regular Serial Number Records: As you buy electronics, new appliances, equipment, remember to record the serial numbers for them in one special file.
4. Collect Those Receipts: Purchases of value for your home can be documented as time goes by. Just keep your receipts, and this is true especially of furniture.
Check Your Coverage
5. “Cover” Charges! Plus, if you have very valuable objects like paintings, collectibles or jewels, be sure you double check your policy to ascertain their coverage. You might have to list these items separately or pay additional fees to cover them. Just read through your home owner’s policy and be aware of the coverage you have.
6. Speaking of Coverage: Check over your policy to make sure your company will provide you with temporary housing in case your home is too damaged for you to occupy. This is a point that is sometimes overlooked until it is too late.
The storm hits. The house is flattened. And you have no extra funds for an extended stay in a motel or temporary apartment during construction or relocation. What an awful scenario! Just be sure you read all the fine print on your contract or speak to your insurance agent about this type of coverage in case of a disaster. Metts Legal repeats, “Check over that home owner’s policy or talk to your insurance agent long before any problems (or storms) loom over the horizon.”
Upgrade Your Updates: Your Insurance Coverage and Lists
If you have an inventory list and photos, and you are proudly reading these words, thinking, “I did this!” Please re-think about when you created it. Did you write it a year ago, three years ago or even ten years ago, when you first bought the policy?
Be sure you update your list new acquisitions? How about that new flat screen TV for the man-cave? Did you replace a refrigerator last year? What about 5 years ago, when you built an entire new bedroom for a new family member? Did you document that new camera you bought for vacation last year?
Have you installed new cabinets and shelves in the sewing room? Did you replace worn carpets with hardwood floors?
Our point is, the list of your property improvements must be constantly and consistently updated.
Metts Legal knows that if you keep these records with care, you can more easily document your losses to your insurance company in event of storm or fire damage. So, if your insurance company seems to be a little slow to pay you for a roof damaged by hail or a porch blown away in a high wind, be aware it might not really be anyone’s fault.
In contrast, if you have storm damages or fire this spring, and difficulties arise with the insurance claim for a fair and legal settlement, Metts Legal is here to help you process your claim, negotiate your settlement, and get your life back to normal. As we have said previously, we are the policy-holder’s champion.