There’s never a good time for an emergency to happen. Whether you’re a homeowner or have a commercial property, the last thing you want to deal with is some kind of severe damage that needs urgent repairs. Unfortunately, you can expect some accident or natural disaster to hit your property at least every couple of years.
When this happens, it’s critical to understand how to get your property repaired as quickly as possible without ruining your finances. The problem many people face is that receiving a fair payout from their insurance company can take weeks or months. What are you supposed to do in the meantime if there’s severe damage or a problem that will get worse without attention?
That’s when it’s time to pursue emergency repairs. Here’s what you need to know about getting urgent repairs to your property, how they can affect your insurance claim, and how to make sure they’re covered under your policy.
Can You Get Emergency Repairs Without Sacrificing Your Insurance Claim?
One of the most common pieces of advice regarding property insurance claims is that you shouldn’t do anything to the property until you’ve contacted the insurance company and had the damage inspected. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. If you have a burst pipe leaking in your walls or a hurricane has stripped your roof, you may need an emergency repair or risk significantly more damage.
It’s natural to worry that this could impact your insurance claim. If you’re not careful, it could reduce the amount you receive from your policy. Your insurer may even attempt to deny you compensation for the money you spent on the emergency repair entirely.
However, this isn’t the only possible outcome. Insurers understand that emergency repairs are critical in protecting the structures they cover. Most homeowners have all-risks coverage, covering damage from all sources except those specifically excluded. Meanwhile, many business owners get specific emergency repair coverage policies to handle these exact circumstances. In both cases, emergency repairs may not only be covered, but the insurer may also require them to prevent further damage and higher bills.
When Are Emergency Repairs Necessary?
Depending on your policy, the specific requirements regarding emergency repair may vary significantly. If you have questions about your policy, it may be worthwhile to consult with an experienced home insurance attorney, so you understand what to expect. Otherwise, there are a few guidelines that often hold true across policies:
- If the problem will continue to cause damage, get an emergency fix. Your insurance policy may not cover damage caused by the ongoing existence of the original problem. For example, if you have a burst water main, you should not allow it to continue leaking because most policies do not cover damage caused by standing water. You could be responsible for paying for damage caused by the extra water if you don’t take immediate steps to fix it.
- If the problem is inconvenient or dangerous, but will not continue to cause damage, wait. If your home’s roof has been damaged by a storm, you may not be able to live on the property until it has been repaired due to a lack of temperature control. However, simply putting a tarp over the damage could be enough to stop further harm to the structure by preventing leaks. In that case, it could be better to wait until the insurance company has inspected the damage before pursuing repairs.
However, there are a lot of factors that can affect whether you should get emergency repairs made to your damaged property. If you have any doubts, talk to the expert attorneys at The Professional Law Group to discuss your next steps.
How to Get Urgent Repair Costs Covered By Insurance
If you think emergency repairs may be necessary before your insurer can make a settlement offer, you have no time to waste. Here’s what to do to protect your right to full coverage for all home repairs, urgent and otherwise.
1. Document the Damage
Take pictures and video of the harm to your property as soon as possible. Get multiple angles and distances to show all aspects of the damage. This is critical proof of the original extent of the damage before the emergency repair is made.
2. Contact an Attorney
Next, consult with a responsive and experienced insurance lawyer about your concerns. They can help you understand your policy and guide you on the best next step, including whether you need to make calls to emergency home repair companies.
3. Get Repairs
If your attorney states that repairs are a good idea, contact a licensed contractor in your area to fix the issue as soon as possible. Ensure they don’t throw out any materials they need to remove since they will further demonstrate the total damage. Get an itemized bill, too, so your insurance provider knows exactly what was done.
4. File Your Claim
With your pictures, videos, and other documentation in hand, work with your lawyer to file your insurance claim. Your lawyer will help you structure your claim and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
Discuss Your Claim With The Professional Law Group
Don’t let a natural disaster or accident permanently harm your property or finances. If you need emergency repairs, you may still be able to cover those costs with insurance. The best way to ensure your expenses are covered is to file your claim with the help of the experts at The Professional Law Group.
When the unexpected happens, we are dedicated to helping individuals and businesses receive the money they deserve from their insurance companies. Schedule your consultation today to learn more about how we can assist you with your claim, even if you need to make emergency repairs before filing.