Property damage can be defined as any tangible or physical damage done to property. If you’re injured in an accident, there are two different types of claims: a claim for bodily injury, and a property damage claim. These claims can be settled at different times. For filing a property damage claim, it’s important to provide a report or evidence to the insurance company. There are different types of property damage claims and various states have their own rules regarding how and when to file a claim.
Ways to File a Property Damage Claim
- Contact the police: Once you realize that your property has been damaged, it’s important to call the police. You won’t be able to file your claim without a police report.
- Maintain records: Take as many photos as possible. Videos often provide a clearer picture of the damage that has occurred. Also, taking pictures of the area around your property can be helpful in the long run to show the intensity of devastation in the neighborhood. Also, make a list of all the items that were lost or destroyed.
- Prevent further damage: Just because half of your car is damaged in an accident. This, in turn, doesn’t mean that you can sit idly. Rather, it’s important to take reasonable steps to prevent any further damage from occurring. Your insurer may deny your claim in case you do not take such steps.
- Get the damage inspected: Apart from preventing further damage, it’s also important to avoid any repairs until an insurance investigator inspects the losses. That’s because, once you make repairs, you may end up destroying the evidence. Therefore, you should only make those repairs that are necessary to avert any further damage.
- Keep receipts: Any damage-related repairs you make, or things you purchase, to avert further damage could be reimbursable. In case you make such purchases, make sure you keep the receipts. You can also scan the receipts to maintain a track of all the expenses.
Time Taken to Process a Property Damage Claim
The truth is, any property damage claim takes a long time to process. This is due to the following reasons:
- It takes time to analyze your policy
- You need to document all the loss incurred
- You need to communicate with the investigators involved in your property damage claim
- Once you have a settlement, you may need to negotiate the deal further
In property damage claims, fault needs to be determined and both the parties need to be contacted by the insurance company. You can choose to speed up the claims process by making sure that you speak with the claims representative. Communication is undoubtedly the most important factor in processing a claim.
Seek Legal Assistance
A trained solicitor can help you get the best settlement possible. A lawyer will:
- Assist in filing the claim
- Expedite the process
- Assist you in getting the compensation you deserve
If you think that your claim is too small, you’re not required to take the initial settlement offer and may instead choose to negotiate the claim.