What Are Property Damage Claims

Picture this: you’re sitting in your cozy living room, sipping on a warm cup of tea, when suddenly, the ground starts shaking like a scene from a disaster movie. Or maybe you’re sound asleep, dreaming of your next vacation, when a devastating fire breaks out in your kitchen. Or perhaps you come home to find your basement flooded, water gushing out of a burst pipe like a mini-Niagara falls.

These scenarios might seem like a nightmare, but the sad truth is that they’re all the leading causes of property damage. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered (literally!). In this blog post, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of the most common causes of property damage covered by insurance, how your insurance policy can help with various types of property damage claims, and provide helpful homeowners insurance claim tips to get the compensation for damage to property that you deserve.

So sit back, grab another cup of tea (or something stronger), and let’s get ready to talk about the not-so-pleasant side of homeownership. After all, knowledge is power, and armed with this information, you won’t have to stress as much about the aftermath of these disasters.

What Is a Property Damage Claim?

A damage claim is your ticket to getting your property fixed up and looking brand new again! When your property gets wrecked and damaged, filing a claim becomes crucial to seek compensation for the repair and restoration expenses. Because, let’s face it, the cost of repair can be high, and reimbursement is more than welcome. But what does that really mean?

A property damage insurance claim is simply a legal request to recover the expenses caused by damage to your property. The process of filing a claim involves contacting your insurance company and providing details about the damage. After an inspection of the property and damage assessment, your insurer determines the extent of coverage provided under the policy. If the claim is approved, the insurer provides compensation for the repairs. To improve your chances of getting approved and getting maximum coverage, consider hiring a public adjuster to help you.

But remember – not all types of damage are covered by insurance. Each policy has its own specific coverage limits and exclusions, so you should read and understand your policy before filing a claim. For most common types of damage, like those caused by fires, storms, or accidents, you can count on your insurance company to help you out. Damage caused by wear and tear or neglect, on the other hand, is not covered by insurance. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves – more on all that below.

Types of Property Damage Claims

Property damage insurance claims can be a real pain, but knowing the different types of claims can help you understand the claims process a little better. Two of the most common types of property damage claims are commercial and residential property damage claims.

1. Commercial Damage Claims

Commercial property claims involve damage to any commercial property, such as offices, hotels, retail stores, supermarkets, and schools. The causes of commercial property damage can be numerous, ranging from natural disasters like fires, floods, and storms, to intentional acts like vandalism and theft.

The consequences of commercial damage can be devastating, especially for business owners who rely on their buildings to run their operations. In addition to physical damage to the property, commercial property damage can also result in lost income and revenue due to business interruption. 

2. Residential Damage Claims

Residential property claims, on the other hand, refer to damage to homes, apartments, and other residential properties. Like commercial property damage, the causes of residential damage can vary widely.

For homeowners, the emotional toll of property damage can be immense, as a home is often not just a valuable asset but also a place of sentimental value. Beyond the emotional toll, property damage can also lead to financial strain, with homeowners often facing costly repairs or replacement costs.

So, if your property has suffered damage, take a long, deep breath. Document the damage thoroughly and report the incident to your insurance company ASAP. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone – public claims adjusters are here for you. 

What Is the Most Common Cause of Property Damage?

Whether you’re experiencing residential or commercial damage, the most common cause of property damage is likely weather-related – natural disasters, fire, and water damage are some of the most frequent causes of property damage homeowners file claims for.

Property damage can be an expensive and stressful experience, but thankfully, many of the most common causes of property damage are covered perils! 

Examples of Property Damage

Property damage refers to any harm caused to a person’s real or personal property. Real property includes land and anything permanently attached to it, such as buildings, while personal property coverage includes things that can be moved, such as furniture, appliances, and clothing.

Property damage examples include:

All of these scenarios can cause both physical damage to the property and financial losses to the property owner. Therefore, property owners need to have adequate insurance with property damage coverage to protect themselves from the financial burden of such events.

Cropped image of small house covered by hands.

The 5 Most Common Causes of Property Damage Covered by Insurance

When it comes to property damage, Mother Nature and Murphy’s Law seem to be in cahoots. From the wrath of natural disasters to the chaos of a kitchen fire, these common causes of property damage are the stuff of homeowners’ nightmares.

But fear not, for we’ve got the inside scoop on the most common causes of property damage covered by insurance. From the fury of floods to the inferno of fires, we’ll break down what you need to know to protect yourself and your property.

1. Natural Disasters: Wind and Hail Damage

Natural disasters and storms, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, can cause extensive damage to a home, with wind and hail damage being the leading types of property damage, making for a staggering 45.5% of homeowners insurance losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

Luckily, many homeowners’ policies include comprehensive coverage for damage caused by these events. However, in areas susceptible to these unfortunate Mother Nature’s tantrums, such as Florida, your homeowner’s insurance might exclude or limit this coverage, so it’s crucial to review your insurance policy to ensure it’s included.

If you’re filing a claim for compensation for damage to property caused by a natural disaster, it’s important to document the damage as soon as possible. Take photos and videos to gather evidence of the damage (while staying safe!), and make an inventory list of any destroyed or damaged items. To protect your property from damage caused by natural disasters, consider installing storm shutters, reinforcing your roof, and elevating your home in flood-prone areas.

2. Fire Damage

Fires can be incredibly destructive and can cause a wide range of damage to a home, from structural damage to smoke and soot damage. Fire and lighting account for 23.8 % of property damage claims and are the most expensive. Luckily, most homeowners insurance policies include comprehensive coverage for fire damage.

If a fire does occur in your home, it’s crucial to file a homeowners insurance claim as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the sooner you’ll be able to start repairing and rebuilding your home. To prevent fire damage in your home, consider installing smoke detectors and fire alarms on every floor of your home, and make sure to test them regularly. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and create a fire escape plan with your family.

3. Water Damage

Water and freeze damage make up 19.9% of filed home insurance claims and can occur in many ways, such as leaks, burst pipes, and flood damage. Many homeowners policies include coverage for water damage, but it’s important to check your policy to be sure.

If you experience water damage in your home, it’s important to act quickly to minimize the damage. Turn off the water source if possible, and begin removing the water as soon as possible. To prevent water damage in your home, consider installing water alarms to alert you to leaks, and make sure to check your plumbing regularly. Have your home’s foundation inspected to check for cracks or leaks that could allow water to enter your home.

4. Theft & Vandalism

Whether it’s graffiti, broken windows, or other damage to personal possessions, the cost of vandalism and malicious mischief, theft, and break-ins can quickly add up. Although standard homeowners policies usually cover types of property damage claims, they rarely result in insurance claims and only account for 0.6% of them.

To protect your property from damage caused by these types of events, consider installing security cameras or security alarms, and make sure to keep your property well-lit.

5. Bodily Injury and Car Accidents

“Car damaged my property. What now?” Car accidents can cause significant property damage to the vehicles involved and any other property that may be impacted. For example, if a car crashes into a building, it can cause damage to the structure and any items inside. If a car crashes into a fence or a lamp post, it can cause damage to that property as well.

When a car accident results in property damage, it’s typically covered by the responsible driver’s liability insurance. The at-fault driver’s liability or auto insurance is responsible for collision coverage. However, if the driver who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages, the other party may have to cover the cost themselves or use their own insurance policy if they have one.

Bodily or personal injury-related property damage is covered in the form of liability insurance.  Liability coverage is typically included in homeowners insurance coverage and auto insurance policies. It provides financial protection if someone is injured on your property or due to your actions (such as in a car accident). If someone sues you for bodily injury-related property damage, your liability insurance coverage will help cover the costs of defending the lawsuit and any damages awarded.

It is important to note that liability insurance typically has limits, so it is important to ensure you have enough property damage coverage to protect your assets.

burned house

Homeowners Insurance Claim Tips

When was the last time you looked at your homeowners’ insurance policy? If it’s been a while, now’s a good time to dig into that fine print. It’s always a good idea to check your coverage and speak with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your policy and buy additional coverage if needed.

Let’s face it – no one wants to be in the position of filing a homeowners insurance claim for property damage in the first place. But, when life (or Mother Nature) throws you a curveball, it’s important to know how to play the game. Filing a claim can be daunting, but with the right tips and tricks, you’ll be able to navigate the process like a pro and get the property damage coverage you deserve.

Useful Homeowners Insurance Claim Advice

From documenting the damage to being your own advocate, we’ve got the insider scoop on the best homeowners insurance claim advice to ensure you get fair compensation for damage to your property.

  • Snap it to win it

Take plenty of pictures and videos of the damage as soon as possible. This will serve as evidence for your claim and help speed up the process.

  • Time is of the essence

Act fast and report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you’ll be able to get your life back to normal.

  • Keep it organized

Keep all relevant documents, receipts, and records in one place for easy access. This will make the process of filing a claim and getting property damage coverage much less stressful.

  • Damage control

If it’s safe to do so, take steps to prevent further damage to your property. This will help limit the damage and reduce the overall cost of repairs.

  • Don’t try to be a DIY expert

However, it’s always best to let the professionals handle major and permanent repairs or replacements. Attempting to do it yourself may void any coverage, so stick to essential damage control and temporary repairs only.

  • Be a smart shopper

Before you file a claim, get estimates from multiple contractors to ensure you’re getting a realistic estimate of the extent of damage and avoid the insurance carrier lowballing or denying your claim.

  • Leave it to the pros

You can always let professionals handle your property damage claim. Reputable public insurance adjusters such as the ones at Elite Resolutions are equipped with the knowledge and experience to deal with your claim from start to finish successfully. They will work on your behalf – protect your best interests and ensure you are fully compensated for the damage you’ve suffered.

The Expert Edge: Maximize All Types of Property Damage Claims by Hiring Public Adjusters

In this post, we’ve discussed the most common causes of property damage covered by insurance and provided tips for filing successful homeowners insurance claims. It’s important to remember that having the appropriate property damage coverage is crucial to ensure that you can repair and rebuild your home in the event of damage by getting fair compensation for damage to property.

But, even with insurance, navigating the claims process can be overwhelming and time-consuming – this is where Elite Resolution’s experienced public adjusters come in. We are experts in the property damage claims process and can help you understand your property damage coverage policy and ensure you receive full compensation. After more than 14 years in this industry, we know the claims process like the back of our hand, so you can lean on us! We will handle the entire claim process for you and make sure you get the coverage you’re owed. 

So, if you’re dealing with property damages, don’t hesitate to reach out for help – let’s work together!

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