The number one thing to understand about residential and business loss insurance policies is that, as the insured, it is YOUR responsibility to prove your losses. In other words, you should not rely on your insurance company or a contractor to prove your claim. Further, it is up to you to prove that your losses are, in fact, covered by your policy.
There are also strict time limits on informing your insurance company, submitting a claim and proving your losses. This means you must act quickly when filing a claim.
When making an insurance claim, some of the requirements that you must fulfill include:
- Immediately notifying your insurance company of any loss.
- Taking reasonable steps to secure the property from further damage.
- Separating the damaged items from the undamaged items.
- Providing a detailed inventory of all losses including:
- Actual cash value
- Total loss claimed and other details related to the property that has been damaged.
- Providing a sworn proof of loss form to your insurance company within 60 days (or in compliance with the times stipulated in your policy of insurance).
If you have suffered a substantial loss, it is helpful to seek legal counsel. An experienced insurance lawyer can efficiently take steps to assess your coverage, confirm that you meet claims process deadlines, gather the evidence required to prove your losses, and calculate the damages to which you are entitled. If you have just lost your home or have suffered a major disruption to your livelihood, it can be reassuring to have someone available to deal with the legal issues while you deal with the personal impact of the damage.
Insurance lawyers will commonly take the following steps:
- inspecting the loss site
- analyzing the damages
- preparing data and evidence to support your claim
- reviewing your coverage
- determining current replacement costs
- making sure you fulfill the requirements of the claims process
- representing you in negotiations with the insurance company
- providing representation in court should that become necessary.
The ultimate goal for our insurance lawyers is to expedite the claims process and assist you in the recovery of your loss; whether that is the result of reaching a more satisfactory claim recovery or by helping in the restoration of your residence or business operations.
If you are facing the prospect of having to make a substantial insurance claim, call Murphy Battista LLP and ask to speak to one of our insurance claim lawyers. We can help.