Carr & Carr Attorney Guy Thiessen and Claims Analyst Rhett Banfield were interviewed by KTUL-8 News for a story on working with insurance companies.
Here’s basic information you should know.
What you should tell the insurance company:
- When the loss occurred – “Hail storm happened this morning.”
- What you think the damage is – “Shingles are gone in at least three areas.”
What you are not required to tell the insurance company:
- Other problems not related to this incident – Don’t say, “I think we might have had some rotten boards up there but I’m not sure,” because the insurance company might say it was your fault the shingles blew off because they could not have been attached securely.
- Don’t diagnose the problem unless you are professionally trained in that area. There can easily be additional damage that is apparent only to experts, but not to the homeowner.
Policyholders are required by Oklahoma law to:
- Report damages to their agent or direct line as soon as possible – Delaying may make processing your claim more difficult; six months after a hail storm, it will be difficult for you to prove that specific storm caused the leaks.
- Protect their property from additional damage – if shingles are ripped off your roof and water is coming in, you should have it temporarily repaired or put tarp securely over it to prevent further water coming in and causing more damage.
Policyholders are protected by law:
- You are not required to use the repair company that your insurance provider recommends. You can select whoever you want to repair your home.
- Homeowner should get at least two independent appraisals on repair, not rely exclusively on the repair shop suggested by their insurance company.
- Document your house and its contents when the policy is started, or as soon as possible afterwards, before a claim is made; this way you’ll have proof of their original condition.
- After a flood/storm/disaster causes you to file the claim, take pictures or video to show the loss. Then you’ll have before and after images to compare.
- When the adjuster come to review damages, take notes on everything they say. Then, write down what they said and email/send it to them, so there is a clear understanding of the problems and possible solutions.
- Policies can be very complicated, and the claims process can be drawn out, so be persistent and thorough. If your claim seems to have stalled, contact an insurance policy lawyer at Carr & Carr attorneys. Let us help you solve this problem.
If you have had a problem with your insurance company and need to talk with someone who can help, call 1-877-392-4878 and speak to an experienced insurance bad faith lawyer with Carr & Carr Attorneys. Email now to visit with someone who can answer your insurance bad faith questions. Our offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Northwest Arkansas allow us to serve clients across Arkansas and Oklahoma.