We’re happy to share an article from the September 2019 edition of the The Florida VRMA Insider, written by our own Doug Fudge, president here at Fudge Insurance!
No one wants to be in the situation where it is necessary to file an insurance claim, but accidents and natural disasters happen, and when they do it is important to know how to handle it. Whether it is a claim for your business or a home you manage, the procedure is the same.
The first step in the process is to call the insurance company to file the claim. You will find the phone number for the insurance company on the policy so have your documents readily available. On this call they will gather basic information about the damage or incident and a claim adjuster will be assigned to the case. Often, they will have a preferred vendor list for services you may need such as water extraction or roof tarping. While you are not required to use their vendors, some insurance carriers will warranty that work and sometimes even waive the deductible.
Do what you can to mitigate further damage. For example, if you have a broken water pipe turn off the water main for the house to stop the flow of water, then call a water extraction company so they can begin drying out the house.
Take photos of the damage and save receipts. If you must pay for any materials or services while waiting for the claim adjuster, you can submit those receipts to be included in the claim. Work with the adjuster to provide information or documentation of the incident.
After the claim adjuster has come to see the damage, they write up a report and submit it along with any other documentation and photos to the inside adjuster. The inside adjuster is the one who will ultimately make the claim payout determination based on the terms of your policy. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on the volume of work they have. Be patient and remember that during times of natural disaster such as a hurricane the volume of claims is very high, and it takes time to work through them all.
Though not usually involved in the claims process, your agent is available to try and help if you are not getting the attention you need. And keep in mind there are exclusions to every insurance policy, and not every situation will be covered.
For more information about the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association, check out their website here.