Author Archives: Public Adjuster Indiana

Can I dispute an insurance claim?

couple panicking over filing a home insurance claim as they file it

What do I need to know about filing a homeowners insurance claim?

No homeowner ever wants to deal with homeowners’ insurance and claims because that would mean that something has happened.  A claim may make your insurance rate increase or possibly the insurance company may cancel your policy. So, a homeowner will decide if it is worth filing a house insurance claim or not, or maybe pay for whatever the issue is out of pocket.

Your home has been damaged by high winds and violent storms. Or perhaps a visitor fell off your porch. Maybe you were robbed. These and other types of unfortunate events strike, then you should feel confident that when you file home insurance claims, you will be taken care of by your insurance company.  So, do you know how to file a claim and what to expect once you do?

Your homeowner’s insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. There are many home insurance claims do’s and don’ts you should know so you aren’t left holding the bag (or holding your wallet open). Before disaster strikes, you should review your homeowner’s insurance policy, so you have a general idea of what it covers and what isn’t and who is responsible for what.

Here, we have a few steps that are recommended by those in the insurance industry for a starting point.

  • If it’s a crime, file a police report. If your home has been robbed or vandalized, your first call should to the local law enforcement. Get the name and badge number of any officer that shows up and request a copy of the report. These are details that your insurance company will require. or burglarized, report it to the police. Get a police report and the names of all law enforcement officers that you speak with as you may need to provide the details of the event to your insurer.
  • Complete all claim forms promptly. Once you have contacted your insurance company, they will ask questions and possibly send you claim forms. Law requires them to send these to you within a time frame. The more complete you fill them out and the faster you send them back, the faster your claim will get settled and the faster you’ll get your house insurance claim check, which insurance companies are required by law to send immediately after the claim has been approved by them and accepted by you.
  • If you must relocate, keep all receipts. If you cannot stay in your home because of damage, save all receipts and note on each one what the receipt was for. Thorough record-keeping will support your home insurance claims.
  • Ask questions. Never hesitate to ask your agent, the insurance company claims department, or the insurance adjuster questions. If you don’t feel you’re getting the right response and treatment from your insurance company, call the state insurance board.
  • Call your insurance company next. Explain the situation and ask if you’re covered, how long can you file your claim after the incident, and what is your deductible? Ask how long it takes a claim to process home insurance claims, and will they send somebody out to get an estimate for repair or do you get that yourself? How long will it take to process my claim? Will I need to get estimates for repairs to structural damage?
  • Prepare for the insurance adjuster. The insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to come and inspect the damage or situation. This is a representative of your insurance company that is sent to inspect the situation and interview you. They then will make the determination how much the insurance company should pay for repairs or replacement. Get prepared for their visit and show them all the structural damage and a list of items that were damaged.
  • Temporarily make repairs. Before you do make repairs, take pictures and/or a videotape of the damage, and make a list of everything. Then make reasonable and temporary steps that will protect your property from more damage. Throw nothing away until after the adjuster has been there and save all receipts for items you’ve purchased for repairs and survival.

Do I have a right to a second opinion?

Yes! For whatever reason, they feel obligated to take the insurance company adjuster’s word and accept the payment.  The insurance company isn’t the only one that can have an adjuster look at your property, you can hire your own for a second opinion. There are independent insurance adjusters that work home insurance claims they have experience in the industry and know the ropes.

Why is it important to get a second opinion?

You’ve been loyal making your homeowner’s insurance payments, so you’d like to believe that when the time comes that you have to file any home insurance claims, they would be as loyal and prompt to you, right? Well, guess what?

Insurance companies are a business and like any business, they are cutting expenses where they can, and the bulk of their expenses come are paying home insurance claims. So, their adjuster they send out will look for the least expensive way for them to settle. Remember, your claim isn’t the only one they have coming in, especially if the weather has been bad with storms and winds.

When their offer to settle your home insurance claims isn’t acceptable to you, getting a second opinion is smart. That opinion may not be as much, or they may agree with the first one. But then there is always the chance they find in your favor too.

How do second opinions work?

If home insurance claims are denied, or the homeowner doesn’t feel the offer is fair, they may dispute the findings. Sometimes, you can simply provide documentation and pictures, and the company will review and revise its offer. Other times, it is more complicated and requires an outside adjuster to review the case.

The following are steps that you should follow to have your home insurance claims reviewed for a 2nd opinion on insurance claim:

  1. Review and know your policy.
  2. Ask for an explanation of why your claim was denied or was less than expected.
  3. Have your documents and pictures collected together.
  4. Request an independent second appraisal by a person familiar with home insurance claims.
  5. Be sure your home shows that you have all the paperwork and receipts where you have done everything a responsible homeowner should.
  6. File a home insurance claims appeal.
  7. File a home insurance claims complaint if the appeal wasn’t successful.
mold from leak on ceiling

Does insurance pay for 2nd opinions?

No, when home insurance claims settlements are offered to the homeowner and they are not happy with the offer, or they denied the claim, the homeowner pays for a second opinion.  This is something to keep in mind, that is money out of your pocket that may or may not get you more money.  This is often one reason homeowners accept what their insurance company offers.

Your home is an important investment to you and your mortgage company. You’ve paid into your homeowners’ insurance and it should take care of you as you intended.  However, if they don’t handle your home insurance claims as you think they should be, you may have it reviewed again. Always read your policy when you first get it and ask questions then, so you know what you have and what you won’t have. Dial 833-312-5246 today for your 2nd opinion on your home insurance claim in Indianapolis, IN.

What is a Claim Dispute?

dispute insurance claim

What is a Claim Dispute?

Are you involved in a claim dispute? Claim disputes are more common than you would think. Claim disputes occur because an individual and an insurance provider have a disagreement. The dispute could be over medical bills, home repairs, damage to the home or car, what needs to be done and how much it costs, and much more. A dispute could occur over which part of the claim is covered by the insurance provider. It’s crucial for people to understand that this process is rarely fair. The insurance company has a lot, if not all, of the power. Insurance dispute claims usually involve technical and legal issues.

How Do I Dispute an Insurance Claim Denial?

Are you wondering where to start on your insurance claim dispute? Please feel free to read over the following list to discover more about this important process.

  1. Review the claim. The evidence that has been provided to support the claim has a huge impact on the kind of coverage that is extended. Looking at the insurance paperwork, see if any of the damage is covered in any of the articles. By increasing the amount of documentation that is submitted that is relevant to the claim, individuals have a higher likelihood of fairness when it comes to the coverage amount.
  2. Contact the insurance agent. After analyzing and submitting further evidence to support your insurance claim, speak with your insurance adjuster. At this point, it’s important to remember that an adjuster from the company calculated the estimate, not the agent who you will be speaking to themselves. Be cordial and listen to what they say.
  3. Ask if the claim can be reviewed again. Submit that you have new evidence for the claim, and outline any relevant articles in your contract. Perhaps a mistake was made by the adjuster. Mistakes happen. Ask for another review. After another review is made, the settlement number may not change.
  4. Consider an independent appraisal. If your insurance company still refused to change the settlement amount, it’s important to seek out other options. Be sure to select an insurance adjuster who is affordable and located in your area.
  5. Your last option is to file a complaint and hire an attorney. This course of action should be undertaken if the claim amount is high enough.

How Long Do I Have to Dispute an Insurance Claim?

After the incident, an individual has two years to settle a car accident case. If the individual is not able to settle the case within that two year time period, then they will have to file suit to preserve the claim. In the state of Indiana, an individual has 180 days to file a Notice of Claim to protect the individual’s right to file a lawsuit when a government entity is involved. 

How Do I Complain About an Insurance Claim?

You have a right to be upset about the result of an insurance claim. Please review the following bullet points to learn more.

  • Compose a letter. All insurance consumer complaints against insurance companies must be received in writing. 
  • Two ways. There are two ways that a complaint can be submitted to the IDOI. There is an online form that is available, or the form may be printed off and mailed or faxed to the Consumer Services division.
  • 72 hours. The complaint that is filed will be processed within 72 hours of receipt.

Can an Insurance Company Refuse to Pay a Claim?

As previously mentioned, dealing with the insurance company is not necessarily a level playing field. While an individual may have a valid claim, many insurance companies have a “deny first” policy. This is particularly true for larger claims. Persistence is key. An individual can file an appeal several times. It is important for each of these processes to have appropriate and accurate documentation. The stronger and more numerous the documentation, the harder it is for the insurance company to dismiss the appeals out of hand.

When to Dispute Insurance Claim

If you need 2nd opinions and dispute insurance claim help, it’s important to know where to turn. Insurance of all kinds is regulated independently. Insurance is regulated by each of the states and by the District of Columbia. While it is true that there are slight differences between each of the states, there are a few underlying principles that unite the regulations. For instance, insurance companies must precisely represent what is in the policy. Insurance companies are forbidden from asking an individual to fill out unnecessary paperwork in order to have the claim processed.

How to Dispute Insurance Claim Settlement

As previously mentioned, there is a rigorous protocol that must be followed. To begin with, the claimant must review the policy thoroughly and locate exactly the terms that apply to the claim. Next, he or she must find, locate, and create evidence that supports their claim. There is an appeals process, which can be used to justify the claimant’s need for more financial compensation for their damages.

Dispute Letter for Health Insurance Claim

If you are writing a claim appeal letter, it’s integral that you supply all your evidence and documentation. The letter must be addressed to the director of claims unless an exception applies. The situation must be described in your own words, and you must be persuasive in determining how the procedure should be covered. The evidence must be presented in an accurate and thorough manner.

dispute insurance claim

Building Insurance Claim Dispute

While it is true that managing your insurance company or the adjuster can be frustrating and time-consuming, it’s worthwhile for you to get the coverage you need for your damages. Please be sure to follow all the recourses available.

Scheduling an appointment to dispute insurance claim has never been easier. Our staff at Hope Public Adjusters are ready to take your phone call at 833-312-5246. Discover more about how we can help you dispute insurance claim in Indianapolis, IN!

What should you do if your house is struck by lightning?

Lightning strike on a house

When the storm strikes

One thing a homeowner never wants to deal with is lightning damage to the house.  Because lightning damage can ignite and cause your house to burn, or possibly you’ll only have damage from lightning. Hopefully, if you have lightning damage and insurance that will pay for repairs or replacement.

Ice particles colliding within a cloud and breaking apart is how lightning is formed. Positive charges are acquired by the smaller particles and negative charges are acquired by the larger particles. When the wind updrafts, it pushes the small particles up, charging the cloud with the positive current and the negative charges stay at the bottom. As these two charges separate, it creates a large electric potential inside the cloud and between the cloud and Earth. The discharge between the cloud and the Earth is what we see as lightning.

Where does lightning strike the most?

Because of the atmospheric and humidity creating the perfect condition, the eastern Dominican Republic and northwestern Venezuela have the greatest amount of lightning on earth.  As of 2018, results from studies in America showed that Florida had the most negative flasher per square mile and Texas had the highest flash count. Rounding out the list of the top 5 was Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska in that order. 

Lightning damage has been astonishing and shocking in the United States. Some miracles have been given to somebody or something is struck and of course, there has been lightning damage that resulted in death, destruction, and fires. 

What damage is caused by lightning?

There are 300 kilovolts in a bolt of lightning that can reach a temperature of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. With that amount of heat and powered combined, the lightning damage to the human body or a structure can be surmountable. Five ways that the human body can be affected, damaged by lightning are:

  1. A Direct Strike: This is the least common but doesn’t cause just lightning damage, it is the deadliest. This happens when lightning moves through the human body. In a direct strike, the lightning current travels directly through the body. The current of the lightening goes across the skin, burning it. Other sections travel through the cardio and the nervous systems, causing brain and heart damage.
  2. A Side Flash: This kind of lightning strike contacts an object nearby and jumps over to a person close to it. The person is usually seeking shelter from a tree or other tall objects.
  3. A Ground Current: When lightning strikes a tree or other object, and some of the current moves along across the ground, striking a person, it is considered a ground current. This type of lightning is related to most deaths and injuries, as well as lightning damage. It is important to know that it also travels through conductive material like a garage floor.
  4. A Conduction: A conduction lightning strike is lightning traveling through metal wires, plumbing, or other conductive objects, and strikes a human. Lightning is not attracted to metal but is a conductor and as such, happens indoors around doors, windows, and electrical outlets.
  5. The Streamers: These occur when the positive streamers extend up from the ground and the ions that are negatively charged, create a field of electricity across the ground, creating a step leader with lightning strikes. Once this occurs, other streamers discharge. The streamers can come out of the ground, trees, or a human.

Structure wise, lightning damage can consist of the following:

  • Fire: The biggest damaging result of lightning is flammable materials such as wood and other materials that explode easily with exposure to high heat from lightning. The current from lightning can travel through pipelines and wires, burning them up instantly, resulting in lightning damage to property.
  • Power surge: If lightning goes through electrical wiring, the surge is explosive and cause lightning damage to any appliance or electrical item that is plugged in.
  • Shock wave: Destructive shock waves can happen from lightning strikes. Shock wave lightning damage can fracture brick, concrete, and stone chimneys. 

Is lightning DC or AC?

Lightning is an electric discharge that appears as a flash or spark that consists of several consecutive strokes, each following another in the same track, at intervals of a few 100ths of a second. What we see is a phenomenon that lasts on a few seconds consisting of several high magnitude strokes. Hence, lightning is not AC or DC, but an impulse signal or a series of impulse signals.

Is lightning damage covered by insurance?

Yes, unless your policy has it listed as an exclusion. Typically, lightning strikes, any lightning damage or resulting fires are covered as perils without any exclusions. This includes your home or outside structure, like the roof, that is covered within your policy, your personal property such as appliances, electronics, furnishings, and other interior possessions. 

rain on a roof

Can you claim for lightning damage?

Yes, and you should be aware there is a procedure that will take place once you file a claim for lightning damage with your homeowner’s insurance: 

  • A claims adjuster will be required to inspect the damage.
  • If the cost to repair exceeds your deductible, you will need to decide to proceed with the claim.
  • If you proceed with the claim, you will receive a settlement offer for repairs.
  • The settlement is sent in two increments with the first one intended to start repairs and the second for any remaining costs when repairs are complete.  
  • If your home and personal property are both damaged, you will receive a check for each one and a separate check for additional living expenses that you have incurred. 

Lightning can be a beautiful thing to watch – from a distance. During a lightning storm, it always best to unplug your electrical devices, stay away from doors, windows and off the telephone. If you’re outdoors, find a low-lying area, such as a ditch, and not under a tree. If lightning strikes your home in Indianapolis, IN, call Hope Public Adjusters today at 833-312-5246!

What is Fire Damage?

Fire Damage Can Wreak Havoc on A Home.

What is Fire Damage?

Fire damage is a very specific term that refers to the physical damage that is done to a property as a result of burning. This damage could occur either directly from the flames, or because of smoke and other corrosive substances emitted by the fire. With regard to insurance coverage, fire damage is usually offered, or covered, by property insurance. There are notably six types of fire damage, and each of these types includes the materials involved and the substances. For example, Class A fire damage involves flammable solids, such as paper, cloth, wood, and plastics.

How Do You Fix Fire Damage?

The first step to fixing fire damage is to assess the damage caused by the fire. For this step, take a pen and paper, and be sure to organize your results room by room. For instance, for the dining room, you would use ‘Dining Room’ as a header, and establish how many materials and fixtures are damaged and destroyed. A professional expert can then come in and confirm your findings. The second step is isolating unsafe areas of the home. After a fire is extinguished, there’s the double duty of establishing how much water damage has resulted from putting the fire out. The next step is water removal, which is the process of removing all the remaining water and drying affected areas. The fourth step is smoke and soot removal. For this process, it is best to secure a professional service.

The fifth step is the sanitization and property cleanup. For this final, crucial step you will need to get a professional estimate from a company skilled in this process. Experience and efficiency is key to getting your home or property back on track.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Fire Damage?

Averages matter. The overall average for fire damage repair and restoration costs is approximately $3,500 and $5,000 to recover after a small fire. Big projects usually entail big price tags. If the roof needs to be replaced or a kitchen or bathroom was destroyed, replacing those fixtures safely and efficiently will drive up the overall cost of fire damage restoration.

Is it Safe to Stay in a House with Smoke Damage?

It is absolutely imperative for homeowners to be aware that a home with smoke damage could have negative impacts on their health. Breathing in soot or fumes caused by a fire can have disastrous consequences for your lungs and your overall health. It is not healthy whatsoever to live in a house with smoke damage even if the smoke is entirely cleared. This is because there are health and safety hazards that need to be properly evaluated in order to determine the next steps of fire restoration and safe home living.

Is the Smell After a Fire Dangerous?

The lingering smoke odors that occur after a fire are harmful to humans and animals. Gases from wood smoke cause a “campfire” smell that includes acetic acid, benzene, carbon monoxide formaldehyde, formic acid, and plenty of other noxious chemicals. There is a science to smoke odor removal, and the science stipulates that there are millions of sensory neurons. It’s important to remember that aside from the carbon particle, lingering smoke odors represent a range of harmful substances.

Can Fire Smoke Damage Your Eyes

The eyes, ears, nose, and throat all are conduits to your lungs and organs. Thus, it will remain important to keep those parts of your body away from harmful substances, such as smoke. Exposure to smoke can cause irritation. Symptoms include burning sensations, redness, and tearing. Smoke does harm your eyes. Once you get your home back in order, you may decide to re-evaluate your water heater. Tankless water heaters supply hot water on demand and can satisfy the needs of the home in an efficient manner.

How to Clean Fire Damage

If you’re wondering how to clean fire damage, there is help. Please browse through the following list of how to clean fire damage to learn more.

  • Receive permission from a fire marshal to safely re-enter your home. This step is critical if your home has endured a fire that has evacuated the home.
  • Assess what items can be saved, and what needs to be tossed.
  • Open up your windows and doors in order to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the home.
  • Dry wet items before trying to clean any remaining smoke damage.
  • With the room properly ventilated, you can clean with cleaning products. Cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals, which is why it’s important to select ones that have effective, non-harmful ingredients. With an effective cleaner and open windows, you take steps to ensure your health is not negatively impacted.
  • Wear safety goggles and heavy duty gloves. This step is crucial. Protecting yourself is the most important step in the fire damage cleaning process.

After a fire happens, it can be difficult to know where to turn. If your insurance company is not cooperating, there is fire and smoke damage insurance claims help. Make sure to contact your reputable public adjuster to get the coverage you desperately need. 

How Does Fire Damage Concrete

When a fire is exposed to concrete at high heat, extensive damage can occur. This is because of the extreme temperature of the fire that shocks concrete. Through prolonged exposure to fire, the steel beams contained within concrete can weaken, leading to building structure integrity loss.

Fire Damage Can Ravage Your Home

What is Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage restoration is the process of restoring your home or property to its full potential after a fire. As is the case with water damage restoration, the quicker that efficient help is administered, the better. The first twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a fire or flood are known as the “golden hours” of recovery. After this short time period, water and fire damage becomes more difficult to curtail or control.

Our company can help you with your fire damage. Our staff at Hope Public Adjusters are ready to take your phone call at 833-312-5246. Discover more about what we can do for your fire damage in Indianapolis, IN!

Is a Water Leak Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Sudden Burst Pipe Can Result in the Need for a Water Damage Insurance Claim

Water Damage and Insurance Claims

There is possibly no worse feeling than finding water where it doesn’t belong. Or watching the water come back up the toilet when it’s supposed to be going down. Sudden and accidental water damage can happen at any time. What can help make the situation easier is knowing that when this type of water damage occurs, it will almost always be covered by insurance. It’s important to note here that any water damage to your property will be covered. The pipe, plumbing, toilet, or whatever caused the damage most likely will not be covered. Any water damage insurance claim process can be daunting, especially if you can’t be in the home to take care of things. That’s why we want to work with you. Anyone with Hope Public Adjusters can help you through the entire claims process in any way that we can. We can offer advice and tips to help make the process feel smooth and effortless or give us a call at 833-312-5246 for help with water damage insurance claim in Indianapolis, IN. Keep reading to see the type of help we can offer you.

Leaking Pipe Can Mean the Need for Water Damage Insurance Claim

Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips

The water damage insurance claim process can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There is one person that you should be able to rely on during that time and that is the adjuster.  When you work with an insurance claims adjuster in Indianapolis, IN, they are your number one resource during the process. This person can offer you the correct information you need to make an informed decision. If you are about to start the claims process for your property, we do have a few tips we’d like to share with you.

  • Document Everything: The number one tip we have for every homeowner is to document everything. This includes taking multiple pictures of the damaged area, writing down everything you do if you patch a leak, and more. Making these notes will not only help the process go more smoothly but can also help your adjuster identify the problem more easily. 
  • Negotiate: Believe it or not, but you don’t have to accept an insurance check if it is not enough. The assigned adjuster may send so much money for repairs, but if repairman gets in there and finds it will cost more time and money, you can renegotiate. 
  • Use Your Benefits: Most homeowners insurance packages come with several benefits that you might not be aware of. If your home is unlivable due to an excess of water, your insurance provider will pay for a hotel stay. They are obligated to actually match your way of living to the best of their abilities. 

When filing a water damage claim with insurance, the most important tip that we can stress is to be as honest and detailed as you possibly can. Providing your claims adjuster with clear, detailed photos can make a world of difference in the process. Where you might find this difficult to do is when you need any kind of slab leak repair. Even in that case, being as detailed as you possibly can about where the problem is happening, what you’ve done in response and more will make the claims process that much easier for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of water damage does insurance cover?
    • Your insurance will usually cover damage to your property caused by a leaking pipe or a burst pipe. Basically, if water damage occurs to your property because of a leaking pipe, the property will be covered. The pipe itself is usually not covered by insurance.
  • How do I file a claim for water damage?
    • Start by turning off the main source of water to your home. If you can see where the problem is, put a temporary patch over the area to prevent further damage. Then contact your insurance provider and give as much detail as you possibly can about the leak, where it is, what caused it and what you have done for a patch.
  • Is a plumber liable for water damage?
    • If it can be confirmed that a plumber incorrectly or inadequately worked on your pipes, and those actions thus resulted in water damage, then yes. The plumber would be legally liable to correct the issue. 
  • Does insurance pay for water damage?
    • Insurance will usually cover water damage when it has occurred suddenly or accidentally. This could be from a burst pipe, a toilet backing up, or a leak in an area of your home that you don’t frequent often. 
  • What do you do if you have a water leak?
    • If you have a water leak, the first thing you need to do is turn off the water source. Doing so will prevent further damage to your property and your pipes. Once that is done you can either contact a plumber or your insurance provider for assistance.
Adjuster Working on Water Damage Insurance Claim

Connect With Us Today for More Information and Quality Services

Rely on Hope Public Adjusters when you need assistance with a water damage insurance claim in Indianapolis, IN. Call us at 833-312-5246 to get started. 

Is Storm Damage Covered By Insurance?

A Picture of a Hail Damaged Roof That Has Been Marked Up By an Insurance Adjuster.

Who Is Liable for Storm Damage?

Every year Indianapolis, IN is affected by storms. When severe storms pass through, they can leave a ton of damage in their wake. Homes are prone to damage when a severe storm strikes, with the most vulnerable areas being the roof, windows, siding, and more. When your home has been damaged, it’s important to get repairs or replacements as soon as possible. While this is really important, it can cost a lot of money. Fortunately, if you have homeowners insurance, you can file an insurance claim for storm damage.

Many homeowners who have insurance typically ask if storm damage is covered by their insurance. Your insurance provider will be able to cover the cost of damages depending on the type of storm that has affected your home. For example, hail, lightning, and wind are covered by your insurance. If an earthquake or flood is involved, then your insurance company will not cover the cost of those types of damages. Because roofs are usually the areas of your home that get the brunt of the damage, a lot of people ask, “Does insurance cover roof replacement?” Again, it depends on how it was damaged. Most insurance companies will cover perils such as fires, hail, and wind that damaged your roof.

How Do Storm Damage Insurance Claims Work?

The first thing you need to do after a severe storm is to file a claim with your insurance provider. Once the claim has been filed by your insurance company, they will send out an insurance adjuster to inspect your property. The areas that the adjuster will look at are the exterior of your home, as well as the roof. If they see that there was sufficient damage due by the storm, they can submit their inspection report to the insurance company, and from there the insurance company can decide whether or not they will cover the cost of repairs or replacements.

In order for all of this to happen, you have to file a storm damage insurance claim. The problem is that a lot of homeowners don’t know how to file an insurance claim. Knowing how to file a storm damage insurance claim will make the process a lot smoother. Here are the steps to filing a claim.

  • Know Your Coverage: Before you file a claim, its imperative that you know what your insurance covers.
  • Inspect Home for Damage: Just because a severe storm has passed through doesn’t necessarily mean your home was harmed. Inspect the exterior of your home (and roof if you have the proper safety gear) to see if there are damages.
  • Gather Evidence: If there are signs of storm damage, you will want to document it by taking pictures. This will be important evidence to have.
  • Call Your Insurance Provider: When you call your insurance company they generally give you a claims number and agent to work with. They can help you through the entire process.
  • Hire a Contractor: If your claim goes through and you accept the amount they give you, call someone to repair your roof and the exterior of your home.

Does Insurance Cover Storm Damage to Roof?

The biggest area of your home that suffers the most damage is usually the roof. When it comes to your insurance coverage, you are probably wondering if it will cover storm damage to your roof. Your insurance company will more than likely cover the cost of roof damages due to a severe storm, but it will depend on what type of storm-damaged your roof. It’s important to note that the kind of coverage you have for your roof will be based on the age of your roof.

Hail Storm Roof Damage Insurance Claim

Hail damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but there are a few things that help determine whether if the damage will be covered. The age of the roof plays a huge role in whether your hail storm damage roof insurance claim will be covered. If your roof is less than 10 years old, then the damage will likely be covered in full; for roofs that are older than 10 years old, they may only give you money based on the depreciated value of your roof.

Wind Storm Roof Damage Insurance Claim

Wind damage, as well as fallen trees due to severe winds, will be covered by your insurance company. Just like hail damage, your storm damage insurance claim might not be covered in full based on the age of the roof. It’s important to note that not all insurance companies follow this policy, but it’s important you know what your insurance company will provide and what the fine print says.

What Type of Water Damage Is Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

A Picture of an Insurance Adjuster Looking at a Clipboard.

Can I File an Insurance Claim for a Leaking Roof?

There are only a few things that insurance companies will cover in terms of water damage. Rain, snow, roof leaks (if the leaks are due to storm damage and not lack of maintenance), mold, burst pipes, water from extinguishing a fire. Water damage that your insurance company will not cover is from flooding, plumbing pipes that weren’t maintained, or pipe backups. If you have filed a storm damage insurance claim in Indianapolis, IN for roof storm damage repair and it has been denied, call the public adjusters at Hope Public Adjusters. We have an insurance claims adjuster who is able to help you with your insurance claim! Dial 833-312-5246 to get in touch with us today.

Prevent Water Damage at Home

Flooded bathroom with large window.

How Do You Prevent Water Damage in Your Home?

Preventing water damage is the first step homeowners can take toward avoiding costly home repairs. Water damage is the number one culprit that weakens your home’s foundation and the structure that grips your home together. Damp wood can invite termites, mold, mildew and carpenter ants. The number one thing you can do is ensure good drainage. Poor drainage weakens your foundation, causing cracks, uneven settling, and pathways for water to enter the home. Another way homeowners can prevent water damage in the home is through testing their sump pump regularly.

How Do You Prevent Your Foundation From Water Damage?

In order to prevent the foundation of the home from receiving water damage, keep the gutters and downspouts working properly. One of the principal assets to having gutters is that they provide relief from water pooling around the foundation. Keep gutters free of leaves and debris s that rainfall can be distributed appropriately away from the foundation. Ensure that gutters have an appropriate screen so that leaves do not accumulate. Another way for homeowners to prevent water damage from happening is through keeping the property in good shape. Routinely checking the foundation, and the surrounding structures will alert the homeowner to potential problems.

What is the Main Cause of Foundation Problems?

Water is the main offender for foundation problems. If either the soil has too much water in it, or there is not enough water in the soil, the ground will expand or contract. The more serious side of the spectrum involves the swelling potential of expansive soils. This can occur due to plumbing leaks, subsurface water (ensuing because of storms, a high water table.) Surface water occurs because of inadequate drainage of landscape water or rainwater. When soil loses water, the foundation may settle. Circumstances include the case of a drought. A settlement is usually greatest near the perimeter of the foundation where the soil dries fastest.

A plumber removes drywall from a recent plumbing leak.

Can Water Damage Your House’s Foundation?

To be clear, persistent leaks in the home do lead to mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew spores can travel through a home’s HVAC system and infect a home’s inhabitants. Fixing a leak soon after it occurs correlates to no-long term damage. Contact your local, trusted plumber if your home is experiencing frequent leaks. One of the ways property-owners can check for leaks is to check for dark spots under pipes, inside kitchen sinks, and stains on ceilings (for two-story homes). Toilets that rock back and forth and random drips are also a reason to have concerns.

How Do You Fix Water Damage in a House?

While water is an essential necessity for homeowners, managing water comes at a price. When pipes burst or leaks occur, water damage can cause all sorts of headaches for homeowners. Property owners who have water damaged walls may wonder if there is anything they can do to remedy the problem. To begin with, identify the source of the water, or leak. Contacting a licensed plumber will dramatically expedite the process. The next thing to do is turn off the source of the water, and assess the damage. The wet drywall will need to be removed. If there are electrical cords nearby, contact a trusted electrician to make sure that proper safety protocols are enforced. Once the entire area has dried out, the damaged insulation and drywall can be replaced.

If your insurance company has not given you the coverage you deserve for your water damage, it’s important to know that you have options. 2nd opinions are important for providing a counterbalance and negotiating a better outcome with your insurance company.

Ways to Prevent Water Damage

Consulting a list of ways to prevent water damage will help with making important decisions in the future. Read through the following list to determine how you can prevent water damage in the future.

  • Disconnect hoses.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Maintain trees and vegetation.
  • Know your water main.
  • Check appliances regularly.
  • Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly.
  • Upgrade your washing machine hose.
  • Install water detection devices.

One of the ways to prevent further water damage is through contracting a professional plumbing company to resolve your water line damage. This is the most important step a homeowner can take toward preventing water damage from the same source in the future.

Gutters Prevent Water Damage

Having gutters installed on a homeowner’s roof is essential for providing relief from a variety of problems that could arrive on your doorstep. For homes that do not have gutters, problems may not arrive suddenly, but gradually. When the soil around the foundation is soaked from roof drainage water, at least some of the water will find its way into the basement, crawl space, or concrete floor. By then, some of that water, or moisture, will be absorbed by the air into the home. While condensation at windows may just be bothersome, in attics and walls it can cause fungal wood-rot. The sheer expense of water damage is enough to give most homeowners reason to seriously contemplate an investment in gutters.

How to Prevent Water Damage after a Leak

If you’ve had water damage in your home and you’re wondering how to dry it, there are realistic solutions available. Safety first. Make sure that if the leak occurred near any electrical appliances, that the power to the home is shut off during the cleaning process. Remove soiled carpets, furniture, and other removable items. Depending on how much water has saturated these fabrics, they may be recoverable. If water remains on the floor, use a mop to sop up all remaining moisture. Fresh, dry air is crucial. Open windows, and procure large fans to dry the area. Purchase, rent, or own a dehumidifier. The entire area must be completely dry before renovations can progress.

Prevent Burst Water Pipe Damage

When temperatures plummet, the risk of pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets dramatically. Burst pipes can cause easily five-thousand dollars of damage or more, which should be all the encouragement homeowners need to invest in good pipe solutions. Pipe insulation helps protect pipes from freezing temperatures and can cost as little as fifty cents per linear foot at your local hardware store.

Have you experienced one of these water damage issues? Our friendly operators at Hope Public Adjusters are available now at (833) – 31 – CLAIM to schedule repairs for your water damage in Indianapolis, IN.

Does Insurance Pay for Wind Damage To Roof?

Fallen tree on the roof of a home.

Protect Your Home from Storm Damages

Storm damage can inflict any property no matter how strong the roofing material may be. Although roofs like Metal roof installations are naturally more durable and resistant to high levels of inclement weather, it’s important to conduct inspections to your roof after a particularly severe storm just in case. It’s better to be safe and catch problems in their minor stages before the next storm comes and you suddenly see water leaking down onto your lap as you’re relaxing in your home! As of such, inclement storm damage to roofs are typically covered by homeowners insurance so costs can greatly be reduced if you run into trouble. If you’re having difficulty determining the extent of storm damages on your roof make sure to conduct professional roof inspections in order to properly assess the situation.

What is storm damage to roof?

Storm damages to a roof can range in severity depending on the age of a roof and the materials the roof is made of. As of such, damages can arise from hail and rain which can cause indentations, aggravate existing structural cracks, loosen roofing material or even have water escape through openings. Even when a storm doesn’t produce rain or hail, high winds can still cause damage. There are stress points to a roof that can weaken and become compromised. Typical wind load resistant roofs can slowly become damaged over time from flying debris and be structurally weakened because of it. With shingles, you may see loosened or missing sections that can cause water damages once flashing is exposed.

How does wind damage a roof?

Wind can damage a roof due to high pressures and impacting areas of low stress like the center of a roof. It’s important to realize that wind doesn’t move uniformly over a roof and most wind storm damages to a roof start on the edges. Additionally, any area of roofing material that is loose can get pushed up and cause a chain effect of peeling down the line. Repeated exposure can further loosen materials until they blow or become ripped off. The danger in this is that torn shingles and other outer protective roofing material can expose insulation to water damages and leaks. What’s more, wind moves debris and tree branches which can be more damaging than the wind alone. Debris and branches can scratch, pierce and move roofing material on all areas of the roof. It’s important to check your gutters and downspouts after a storm as debris can weigh on the structure and affect its durability. Additionally, remember to check the corners and edges of a roof when wind has been particularly powerful during a storm. Finally, be sure to trim tree branches or have trees planted a safe distance away from your home in order to prevent future roof storm damages.

How do I know if my roof has storm damage?

After a storm has occurred, some signs of roof storm damage may be perceptible while some may need to be further investigated. As of such, it’s important to conduct an indoor and outdoor inspection to check for damages after a storm has passed. Indoors you may see moisture marks, stains (brown, yellow or grey) or peeled paint which all point towards a roof leak. Checking the attic is a great way to see if light and therefore water is entering through a peephole or mildew has formed on damp rafters. Finally, a sign that can’t be seen is a rise in energy costs that point to roof ventilation damages.

Ripped shingles on roof with a blue sky in the background.

Different Types of Storm Damage

  • Curling, Broken, Missing or Loose Grained Shingles
  • Splitting, Curling, Decay or Mold on Wood Shingles or Shakes
  • Flat Roof Patches, Tears, Blisters, Wrinkles or Cracks
  • Tears of Flashing
  • Buckling Around Roof Penetrations
  • Crumbling Roofing Cement
  • Decay or Stains to Fascia or Soffits
  • Clogged or Damaged Vents, Flashing and Shingles Around Soffits and Ridge Vents
  • Clogged, Rusted or Decayed Gutters & Downspouts
  • Leaky Seams
  • Loose Attachments
  • Missing Sections
  • Bent Areas or Sagging
  • Ice Dams
  • Chimney Cap or Joints Cracked

Will the insurance company replace my roof?

Homeowners insurance can partially or fully replace your roof under an all-peril policy, or depending on the type of insurance you have there may be an alternate option. An all-peril policy  usually accepts roof replacements regardless of the age of your home as long as the damages were incurred by an act of nature. However, if your roof has surpassed its intended lifespan than roof replacements will usually fall under the responsibility of the homeowner as the category of general maintenance according to insurance precedents.

What is storm damage insurance?

Depending on your policy terms storm damage is covered by insurance. There are certain factors that can determine the eligibility of your roof like where you live, the roof’s age and other information. Most homeowners insurance will cover inclement weather damages as it is an unpreventable circumstance. Storm damage and insurance claims should be handled with care and attention to detail, your insurance may or may not require that your roofing contractor conduct an inspection for official reports. As of such, make sure that you’re taking pictures of damages to help with your case, these pictures may also be included with your service once you reach out to a qualified roofing company.

What type of water damage is covered by homeowners insurance?

It’s important to address water damages as they occur in your home as they can aggravate the integrity of certain structures or appliances and cause a growth mold and mildew. Only certain types of water damages can be covered by your homeowners insurance like damages incurred through the inside sources of your home such as a busted pipe. Outside sources such as floods are not covered by a standard policy so it’s important to check with your insurance before any future damages incur. If you do have a policy or insurance that will cover water damages relevant to you, be sure to conduct Nuclear moisture testing as it will assist in the settlement of your insurance claim. This type of testing will advocate existing damages through professional testing.

For help with storm damages in Indianapolis, IN call (833) – 31 – CLAIM with Hope Public Adjusters!

What Water Damage Does Insurance Cover?

When your house is damaged by water, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do first. It can also be difficult to know whether the water damage your home has suffered will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. While most policies cover at least some types of water damage, most water-related hazards are not covered by the typical policy. Be sure you know just what your policy covers by discussing it with your insurance agent before you need to file a claim.

Water Damage is Often Covered Only if It’s Taken Care of Quickly.

What Types of Water Damage are Covered?

Typically, most HO 3 policies cover at least some types of water damage. Most of the time, only quickly occurring water hazards are covered by your insurance, such as flooding, storm damage, and pipe bursts. Mishaps like gradual leaks, seeping, and water damage that happens over time are usually not covered by the policy.

What Causes Water Damage in Homes?

Water damage is caused in the home when water is allowed to sit on top of a surface. This can cause a multitude of problems, from warping and cracking to mold and rot. When water is allowed to penetrate a surface, it damages the material from the inside, leading to the need for repair or replacement.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair Water Damage in a House?

The cost of water damage cleanup can vary greatly depending on the level of damage and what tasks need to be completed. For instance, an area with standing water will cost significantly more than a space that has only minor damage like drywall and flooring damage. Typically you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $4,000 for water restoration and cleanup, especially if not covered by insurance. Many times, insurance only covers a portion of the work, leaving you to cover the rest. This may apply in situations that involve hidden or unfound water damage, gradual leaks that aren’t repaired, or slow roof leaks that were missed.

Is Drywall Ruined if it Gets Wet?

Many homeowners believe that if their drywall gets wet at all, then it should be replaced. But, as long as the drywall is not saturated, it will most likely be able to dry effectively with proper measures. However, if the drywall is saturated or unable to get proper ventilation for quick drying then it may need replacement to avoid problems like mold, rot, and warping.

How do You Fix Water Damage?

Water damage restoration and repair are long and intricate processes. First, a professional will use an infrared water damage detector device to locate all spots with water damage throughout your home. These devices are used to ensure the location of even hidden damages. Once the damages are located, the water damage effects will be assessed to identify the extent of the damage caused.

Your insurance company may require multiple water damage quotes for water damage repair. This means that multiple professionals will come to inspect and assess the damage. Most times, your insurance company will also send an adjuster to evaluate the claim for himself. He will inspect and assess the damages to ensure that the quotes you receive are accurate and fair. Your adjuster will assess the current damage as well as any possible previous damage that was left unrepaired. This will give the insurance company an idea of what condition your property was in before the damage to better assess its worth.

Water Damage and Repair

When your home has water damage, the first step is to remove the excess water from the area. Professionals may use multiple ways to accomplish this, from fans and vacuums to mops and towels. Once all removable water is displaced, fans and other drying mechanisms are brought to provide constant air flow for proper drying. Proper drying of your belongings deters the formation of mold, mildew, and rot. Once your home is dry, your cleanup team will apply a treatment to each surface to protect against the development of mold and mildew.

Water Damage VS Mold

Not all water damage leads to mold. In fact, most times, proper restoration and repair of water damage prevents the formation of mildew and mold. However, many times, mold and mildew are discovered in unrestored areas where water has unknowingly seeped through, such as closets, basements, and attics. To ensure that your water damage is completely eliminated the first time, ensure that your restoration team uses infrared technology to locate all points of moisture.

When your home has experienced water damage and repair is needed, don’t hesitate to call. Many insurance claims have a time limit and aged water damage is not typically covered on most insurance policies. The Hope Public Adjusters experts can provide insurance help for your claim and walk you through each process to ensure that your claim is processed quickly and accurately. Call our experts today at (833) – 31 – CLAIM when you need help with your water damage insurance claim.

Property Damage Insurance Claims Process

If Your Home or Business Has Been Damaged, It’s Important To File a Property Damage Claim.

Having your home or business damaged due to water, fire, a storm, or lightning can prove to be devastating. Depending on the severity of the damage, these types of natural disasters and accidents can amount to a lot of money on repairs, replacements, and cleaning. Most of the time these things happen out of the blue and homeowners and business owners had no way of preparing themselves. Fortunately, if you have homeowners or commercial insurance, you can file a property damage claim. A property damage claim is something you can file with your insurance provider so that you can get the coverage you need to pay for damages done to your property. While this might seem straightforward, insurance claims processes can actually be complicated if you aren’t familiar with the process. To get a better sense of what to expect, below are some helpful answers to frequently asked questions asked about property damage claims.

What Is the Claims Process?

Your Insurance Claims Process Involves Your Insurance Company Reviewing Your Claim.

Before explaining what the claims process is, it’s important to know what an insurance claim is. An insurance claim is when a policyholder asks their insurance company to cover the cost of property damages. Once an insurance company receives a property damage claim, they review it and decide if it meets your coverage policy requirements, which is considered the claims process. To make sure that the damage to your house or business is covered by your insurance, they will need to inspect the damages. It’s also important that you give your insurance company as much details and information, as this will make it easier for them and make it more likely to get the coverage that you want. Usually, the claims process timeline involves a review of the claim, inspection of damages, adjustments to your property damage claim, and then from there they can either approve or deny your claim.

What Happens When You File an Insurance Claim?

While the very first thing you should do is call your insurance company, it is important that you gather the necessary inventory needed. What this means is that you will need to provide evidence of the damages that affected your home or business. The reason that this is important is that you will want proof certain damages affected your property. The more proof and evidence the easier it will be to have your claim accepted by your insurance company. Here are the things that you should do to prepare to speak with your insurance provider.

  • Document Damage: If you have a camera or video camera, you can use these to document the loss from water, fire, storm, or other catastrophes that have damaged your home or business. This will be extremely helpful when you are filing your property damage claim.
  • Compile Details: If you have receipts, bank statements, tax returns, or appraisals for things that are damaged, its get to get all of them together and ready. This will be especially helpful if you are dealing with theft and vandalism.
  • Make a List: Everything that has been damaged in your property, you will want to make a list of. No matter how insignificant you think it might be, write down anyway.
  • Avoid Repairs: This might seem like a bad idea, and shouldn’t be done if you have water or smoke damage, but avoiding get permanent repairs is essential as it can prevent you from getting the claim you need. However, if repairs are really needed, keep your receipts and give them to your insurance company.

What Happens When a Claim Is Denied?

When we have damage to our homes and businesses, we believe that our insurance company will be there to support us. Unfortunately, your insurance company can deny your claim. This can be quite shocking and very stressful to policyholders, but it happens more often than you’d think. There are a couple of reasons why your insurance company denied your claim

  • They believe that the damage to your home or business was pre-existing and not caused by the fire, flood, storm, or another catastrophe that occurred.
  • Your insurance company doesn’t cover the type of damages that affected your home or your business.
  • If these damages happened and you didn’t pay your insurance premiums during that time, they can say that you didn’t have the coverage needed to cover the damages.
  • You didn’t contact your insurance company within a certain timeframe.

In the event that your property damage claim was denied, you can always appeal your claim. You will need to make a formal appeal to your insurance company and from there they will hear your claim again.

How Do You Fight an Insurance Claim Denial?

If you’ve had your insurance claim denied, one of the best things you can do is call a public adjuster. A public adjuster is someone who is able to help you settle a claim on the behalf of the policyholder. The reason this is a good thing is that a public adjuster knows insurance policy coverage lingo, they have been in the business before, and they negotiate on your behalf. If for some reason your insurance company will not secure your settlement even with the help of a public adjuster, it’s time to call an attorney.

If you are needing insurance claims help service in Indianapolis, IN call the public adjusters at Hope Public Adjusters today! We are able to give you a free claim review, so contact us at (833) – 31 – CLAIM!