When your home or business suffers serious damage, it can stop your life in its tracks. You may be displaced or looking at loss of income for weeks if not months, so it’s critical to maximize your insurance payout. Unusual as it may sound, one way to do that is avoid making repairs until you’ve reached an agreement with your insurer on the matter first. In this blog, the team at Honest Lion Adjusting goes over the reasons why you should hold off on tackling that sewage backup or fire damage until you’ve reported the claim and gotten approval on repair costs. 

Case Law on Damage Repairs

A few years ago, owners of a Florida property found the home severely damaged due to a sewage backup in their master bedroom. They hired a plumber to make repairs before alerting their insurance company to the damage. 

The company denied the claim, stating that since the homeowners repaired the property before the insurance company could inspect it, the insurance company was unable to estimate repair costs. Since it could not accurately evaluate the damage due to the repairs, the company stated that it was not obligated to pay anything, and a Florida Appellate Court agreed.

The message is clear: before you start repairing damage to your home or business, contact your insurer and make sure it is okay to do so. In order to recover financial losses from such work, you will need to agree on needed repairs and costs.

Tips for Documenting Damage

To ensure that you get the maximum insurance payout for your losses,  take the following steps:

  • Don’t throw anything away. Although you may not want damaged possessions lying around, having proof of their damage and value can help the claims process. Keep all receipts related to home purchases, improvements, or repairs.
  • Don’t accept the first offer from your insurer: An insurance company’s first offer is often an attempt to settle for less than your damages are worth. If you hold out for a better deal, you may be able to recover the maximum amount for your losses. 

Questions About Damage Repair Costs?

Although you should always get the green light from your insurance company before making repairs, a thorough review of your policy can give you an idea of any coverage limits, but in terms of damage and repair costs. If you’re not sure how to interpret your policy and need assistance in clarifying your rights, contact Honest Lion Adjusting. We can review your coverage and provide the advice you need to understand what you may or may not be entitled to. For more information, please call 844-LION-100.