When you suffer damage to your property, the last thing you want to face is uncertainty when it comes to the insurance claims process. At General Insurance Services, we work hard to make sure the property claim process goes as smoothly for you as it possibly can. Whether it’s coordinating with contractors, negotiating with carriers, or just checking in to make sure that everything is going smoothly for you while the repairs are taking place, know that we’ll be here for you every step of the way.
If and when you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing to file a claim for property damage, we’ve prepared a step-by-step process detailing what you can expect from the GIS claims process from beginning to end.
Give us a call as soon as you become aware of damage to your property. The first thing we’ll do is make sure you and everyone else involved are okay. If there are any injuries, let us know right away.
Next, we’ll talk to you about the details of the incident to determine the extent of the damage. We’ll ask you what was specifically damaged, how badly each item was damaged, and whether or not belongings were lost as a result.
Depending on what’s happened, there may be a need to secure the property to mitigate further losses. For example, if a tree has fallen on your house, we’ll advise you to tarp off the area to prevent more water damage. Note that expenditures made to secure the property are in most cases reimbursed by the insurance company.
When it comes to cases of extensive damage, the decision to file is obvious. However, if the damage is relatively minor, you should consider whether or not it’s worth it to file a property claim.
Your GIS representative will first compare the amount of your deductible and the potential effect on your future premiums with the estimated cost of repairs. We’ll then discuss with you whether or not filing a claim would be beneficial in this regard. Of course, if not filing a property claim would put you in a position of financial instability, then we’ll advise you to go ahead and file regardless.
If you do make the decision to file, we have a dedicated team of claims coordinators in house who will sit down with you to discuss the details of your claim and work with the insurance provider on your behalf. Your claims coordinator will be involved throughout the remainder of the process to file the claim and answer any questions you may have.
Once the claim is filed, the insurance carrier will assign an adjuster and a claim number to your claim, which we will pass along to you for future reference.
If you have a contractor in mind that you’d like to work with, let your claims coordinator know and they will connect them with your adjustor to coordinate the costs of the repairs. The adjuster will communicate directly with your contractor of choice so you don’t need to worry about getting caught up in the back-and-forth.
When costs have been agreed upon by the adjuster and the contractor, the insurance provider will issue an initial payment to the contractor to get things started. The contractor will then coordinate with you to make sure all of the work is completed around your schedule.
As much as we hope for everything to go according to plan after the initial claim is filed, that isn’t always the case. If you find yourself faced with additional costs for repairs or displacement after your claim has been filed, your claims coordinator will coordinate with the insurance provider to secure those additional funds on your behalf.
If there’s ever an issue or a disagreement between you and the adjuster, your claims coordinator will act as a mediator to resolve the dispute as painlessly as possible.
When all of the work is completed, your claims coordinator has confirmed you are happy with the results, and you’ve signed off on the final paperwork, the insurance carrier will then issue the final payment to the contractor minus the deductible. It will be your responsibility to pay the deductible directly to the contractor. If you are working with multiple contractors, it will generally be paid to the contractor who has completed the largest portion of the work.
In some cases, we’ve had clients contribute labor or materials to the repairs to offset some or all of the deductible. Talk to your claims coordinator to find out if this is an option for you.
Whether you’ve got a large or small pending property claim on your hands, we are here to help. Contact us if you find yourself dealing with damage to your property, and we’ll navigate the best route to make you whole again as soon as possible.
Joe has worked in the insurance industry since 2000, joining General Insurance Services in 2002. Joe has received his CIC (Certified Insurance Counselors) and his CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representative) designations. He was born and raised in La Porte, graduating La Porte High School and earning a Bachelor’s Degree from Purdue University. Joe and his wife, Kerry, now live in the South Bend area with their two sons, Brady and Mason. He is an active member of the La Porte Kiwanis Club, and in his free time, he enjoys being outside hiking, camping, hunting and spending time with his family.