Did your fence get damaged by a storm? You may be able to use your homeowners insurance to pay for repairs or replacement. Our construction manager, Matthew, gives some helpful information on the process of making an insurance claim below.
The first step after your fence has been damaged by a storm is to start the claims process. You can typically do this in one of three ways:
Have your policy number ready and be prepared to describe the damage and explain what caused it.
Take multiple photos of the damaged area from every angle, as well as sections not damaged, along with wide shots including both damaged and undamaged. Be sure to have specific measurements of all damaged areas. Submitting these can expedite the process.
A fence that is leaning is just as damaged as a fence that is laying on the ground in regards to repair or replacement.
The adjustment process is when the insurance company determines the cost and cause of the damage. There are three common ways the adjustment process is carried out:
1. Local or Staff Adjuster - They will often do their assessment of damage with an appointment that can possibly take days to weeks to book. They will photograph damaged and undamaged areas and take detailed notes on styles, materials, and age of items damaged. They submit the info to the main office of the insurance company. Once the claim is approved a check is sent from the insurance company (it can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks).
2. Catastrophic Adjuster - These adjusters work nationwide, traveling the country to specifically work on natural disasters (storms included). They are the most experienced adjusters and value any way to speed up or improve their process as they are assigned an entire region and are paid on a per adjustment basis. They will assess damages, approve a claim, and then print the check onsite at the time of the adjustment appointment. This process is the fastest and we can often provide all the info they need to approve a claim remotely and not require them to do the adjustment onsite. In this manner, you can get a check within a couple days of the damage.
3. Remote Adjuster - These adjusters will not go onsite and instead ask you for bids from contractors along with photos of the damage (and potentially for photos pre-damage). Depending on the quality of the documentation provided, they will often approve the claim immediately and have a check sent from the insurance company within 1 to 3 weeks.
Once the claim has been filed and we have all the information required, we can take care of the rest by making sure the insurance company and adjusters have all the right info, numbers, and values to approve your claim. Based on our people’s decades of experience working with insurance companies, we will advise you on the steps of this process and even if you should file a claim or not.
We’ll work on your behalf to negotiate the best possible deal for you and work to get your claim approved. After you’ve filed the initial claim, you do not have to do anything else, we will take care of everything.
Please note that once approved, the insurance company will issue you the check and it is never sent to us or any other contractor.