COVID-19: Should you file a claim?
For some North Carolinians, this marks the 8th week of being at home instead of at work or school. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 1 in 20 insured homes has a property damage claim each year. Chances are, you or someone in your neighborhood has experienced property damage during North Carolina’s Stay-at-Home Order.
According to Claims Magazine, insurance professionals are preparing for a “tsunami” of incoming claims after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Why do they anticipate a wave of insurance claims to be filed once Americans go back to work? Even though damage is occurring every day, most homeowners are fearful of inviting workers into their home during this time, which brings us to the point of this blog: should you file a claim if you have property damage during the COVID-19 pandemic? Usually, the answer is YES. Here’s why:
- When water damage is left untreated, mold growth can occur in as little as 48 hours. Most policies cap mold remediation at a $5,000 limit. More time for growth equals more costs for remediation. Taking quick action against water damage can prevent microbial growth.
- Claims may be denied due to neglect. Policyholders have an obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage from occurring. Failure to mitigate the extent of the loss could be grounds for denial.
- There’s a claim deadline, specific to your policy. If you fail to report the damage within that specified timeframe, your claim may be denied.
Some tips to help you navigate the insurance claim process:
- Avoid potential claim denial by paying your insurance premium promptly.
- Know how to reach your insurance agent after hours, or if they are working from home. Your agent insures your most valuable asset. Choose an agent that’s focused on building a relationship with you.
- Call PHC Restoration as soon as damage occurs. We can assist your insurance company with a virtual inspection. If you’re worried about how we’ll protect the occupants of your property, read more here: https://phcrestoration.com/phc-restoration-is-an-essential-business/
- On the date of loss, take photos of property damage and the source of the loss.
Still unsure about what to do? Call your agent. They can answer your questions about policy limits and claim deadlines. For technical guidance, PHC is always ready to assist. You can reach us at 910-814-2502.