Impact Damage and the Insurance Claim Process
The Moment Before Impact
You’re sitting inside wrapped in a warm blanket, reading your favorite book as you listen to the rain gently falling outside. The soft pitter patter of the rain drops is actually quite relaxing, and you, are at peace. The pitter patter quickly starts to pick up into a heavy rainfall, and winds start to whip around at a harder and faster pace. Out of the corner of your eye, you start to see bright flashes of lightning, and you hear loud booms of thunder. No worries; you are still cuddled up nice and warm, so you gently turn the page of your book to start the next chapter.
Just as you go to take another sip of your tea, you hear the loudest sound you have ever heard in your life. The giant CRASH comes tumbling down and fills the entire room. Shook up, you decide to investigate as the loud crash has seemingly came from the direction of your bedroom. When you open the door to your room, your worst fear comes true. You see a large tree branch slammed into your bed crushing half of your bedroom furniture. You notice a new skylight bursting from your ceiling, allowing wind and rain to sweep through your room. Through the hole in your celling and parts of your wall, you can see the large oak tree where this branch fell off of, as it is clearly missing one of its limbs. This night has quickly turned from a peaceful time, to one of the most scary and stressful moments of your life.
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Loud CRACKS, SLAMS, SHATTERS, and BANGS are never music to our ears. Impact damage can create those loud, gut wrenching noises, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you can’t hear the damage as it happens. It may also be true that you aren’t home to hear the noises from impact damages, so you aren’t aware that impact damage has even happened.
Impact damage mostly derives from fallen trees and/or vehicular accidents, but it can also come from flying debris. Some of the more obvious indications of impact damage are holes in a roof or damage to a building’s exterior. There are also many other signs of impact damage that aren’t as obvious, and might go unnoticed at first glance. Some of these damages include window’s sticking, doors becoming misaligned, and racking of the structure.
In case you didn’t know, racking occurs when a property twists, vibrates, or otherwise contorts itself to absorb an impact. Racking can cause cracking inside of a walls surfaces, as well as cause drywall damage. The screws used to secure drywall to the studs will “pop out” when the walls twist and move. The popping out of these screws damages the drywall and paint in the affected areas.
If you have impact damage to your home or business, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company to get the funds needed to repair your property. Filing a claim however, is often just the beginning.
The Inconvenience of Insurance Claims
If you chose to file a property damage claim your insurance company will assign an adjuster who must first inspect the property. Depending upon the adjuster’s schedule, it may take days or even weeks for your property to receive it’s inspection.
Once the property has been inspected by the adjuster, they may state that the impact damages require the use of structural engineers, forensic engineers, or other experts, depending on the nature of the damage. On top of that, additional vendors may be called out to tarp roof surfaces, or perform other activities to prevent further damage to your home or business. Each additional person added to the claim increases the claim length exponentially, as each person must inspect the property and write their respective reports.
As with any property damage claim, property adjusters tend to drag their feet since they often operate on a 30-day reporting cycle. This means that there is plenty of time for your claim to languish while the adjuster’s attention is elsewhere. All of this combined makes it very easy for your claim to drag on for months at a time – all while you are without livable housing or a functional business.
When you finally get paid, you may be frustrated to find that the amount is probably less than what is needed to restore your property to pre-loss condition. In fact, insurance companies have developed internal estimating guidelines that systematically undervalue claims, which result in smaller claim payouts for the policy holders—aka you. This means that ultimately, the smaller claim payouts will squeeze contractors, making it difficult to find a contractor to repair the property. If you decide you need additional funds, the adjuster must then re-open the claim and you will have to go through the same process all over again.
Feel overwhelmed? We don’t blame you. The claims process can be a very stressful and overwhelming process for policyholders. But that’s where we come in.
Here To Help
Our public adjustment firm is here to help, and we are on your side. We specialize in helping policyholders successfully navigate through the often complex and difficult property claims process. We will manage your entire claim to help you achieve a maximum claim settlement in the least amount of time possible. We want you to get paid fairly for your damages, so you can get back to pre-loss condition as quickly as possible.
Our services include:
- Claim submission
- Claim advisory services
- Communications management
- Inspection Coordination
- Final settlement negotiation
- Professional recommendations
- And more!
Do You Have Impact Damage?
If you have impact damage, call us now to get a free, no obligation consultation with a licensed public adjuster. On our call, we will review your claim, discuss options, and provide our professional recommendation for moving forward. We care about you and your needs, and want to help you through this sometimes stressful ad overwhelming process.
Remember, when you sustain property damage:
Contact Claimly First!