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Get the Facts About Building Damage Claims

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

If your home or place of business is damaged, you’ll need to file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Claim settlements are based on a variety of factors, and there are some important things every policyholder should know about making building damage claims.

Read your insurance policy declarations to find out what’s covered. Most policies will cover the home itself as well as any outbuildings like a shed or separate garage.

  • When you receive insurance claim settlements, make sure you document anything inside your home or business that was damaged. Most insurance policies will also compensate you for the cost required to replace damaged furniture, clothing, and other personal belongings.

  • If you need to vacate your home while it’s being repaired, find out if you’re eligible for additional living expenses, or ALE. This coverage will pay for you to stay in a hotel or rent an apartment temporarily. Some policies also give you a per diem that you can use for food and other daily living costs.

  • Most building damage claims are settled within a year of processing, but it could take as long as 18-24 months depending on the extent of the damage. Prepare to be patient while you wait for your home to be repaired.

  • In most cases, you will be responsible for removing any debris around your home. This includes downed trees, branches, and other items that could’ve become loose in a storm. You can remove the debris yourself or pay for someone to do so out of pocket.

  • Take photographs of all damage after a storm or other event. You may need to refer to these photos later in order to provide specific items or structures that were damaged. Don’t forget to check on your storage shed, workshop, or other outbuildings if it’s also become damaged.

  • Consider hiring a public insurance adjuster who can help you get fair claims settlements and the money you deserve.

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