This past week North Alabama and surrounding areas have been pounded with a variety of weather events including straight line winds, hail, heavy downpours of rain, as well as a couple tornadoes spotted touching down (one in New Market and the other in Gurley).
If you receive any damage to your home or property, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Before calling your insurance company, be aware that once you file a claim, it is a claim on your account regardless of how much is paid or even if it is approved or denied. It will be a claim. If you are unaware of your deductible, only call to ask what your deductible is, do not say you want to file a claim and then ask. Why? Because if your total cost of repairs is close to or below your deductible, it is likely not worth filing.
2. Once you have determined your deductible, call at least 2 contractors to give you estimates on repairs. (If you don't know who to call, use the web to find reviews)
3. Take the average between all the repair estimates you received and factor your deductible with that number.
- Deductible $1,000 - Average cost of repairs $900 (Not worth filing insurance claim)
- Deductible $500 - Average cost of repairs $900 (Still may not be worth filing claim in the long run)
- Deductible 1% - Average cost of repairs $6,000 (A 1% deductible can often confuse home owners. If you have a 1% deductible, that means your deductible is 1% of your homes estimated value by the insurance company. For this example, lets say your home is valued at $200,000, your deductible would be $2,000. Using these numbers, The insurance company would pay $4,000 total minus any depreciated value they've calculated.
- Understand what depreciation is and means: If your policy is an "ACV" Actual Cash Value - The depreciation applied to your claim will not be recovered/paid by the insurance provider. BUT if your policy is "RCV" Replacement Cost Value, when/if depreciation is applied to the claim, the depreciated amount can/will be paid once the insurer receives the required documentation that repairs are complete.
- ACV policy - $1,000 deductible, Avg cost of repairs $7,000 (depreciation $1,000) Final check to homeowner $5,000.
- RCV policy - $1,000 deductible, Avg cost of repairs $7,000 (depreciation $1,000) First Check to homeowner $5,000, Final check to homeowner $1,000 = $6,000 total paid by insurer.
3. Don't let anyone talk you into anything without taking the appropriate amount of time to do your homework and get second opinions.
4. Never forget, YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER of both the contractor and the insurance company. THEY work for YOU! You still own the property and you have the decision on whatever you choose to do! Do Not be fooled or manipulated.