Protecting your home and personal property needs to start before a disaster strikes. Often, having an attorney on retainer to review your insurance policies and personal needs is a great first step. In order to fully manage your risk related to your personal property, there are many things to consider.
Get the right insurance policy
A good insurance broker should take the time when you select your insurance policy to clearly explain your coverage’s and to make sure that you have coverage in excess of what you currently own. Many of our clients are surprised by how quickly replacement costs accumulate. You do not want to find yourself underinsured and if you are grossly underinsured you will not be able to return to the life that you had before the disaster. If you have questions about your policy make sure to contact your attorney immediately. You want to know what you are agreeing to!
All insurance policies are not created equal
From company to company and policy to policy, coverage often varies. Many times certain items are not covered in one type of policy that is covered in another. Often additional riders or addendum’s need to be purchased in addition to the basic homeowner policy to cover specific valuable items. Periodic policy evaluations and if necessary, limit increases are recommended. Also, know what the policy deduction is and make sure that it is a realistic amount of money that you can pay if needed. Flood and earthquake insurance is typically not included in most basic homeowner policies. You need to inquire about these and other riders when deciding upon your policy and often times a legal opinion on a specific policy for your unique needs may be required. In addition, there are additional liability coverage’s within many liability policies that many of our clients forget that you may want to review with a legal advisor.
Understand your policy
An important step after a disaster is to retrieve your insurance policy and verify your policy limits and exclusions to coverage. Have a copy of your policy stored in a fire safe or safety deposit box. It is also a good idea to keep purchase receipts from valuables, antiques, electronics, etc. in this same location. If you are facing a catastrophic or total loss, it may be a good idea to consult an attorney at this time just so the insurance company knows that you have someone available to help if necessary.
If you are not getting a fair settlement call us!
Remember that it is the insurance companies business to ensure your property. In other words, it is their obligation to pay for your damaged property but it is a business hence they are in it to make money. They will pay minimums unless challenged. This is when you may need legal assistance. If you find yourself in settlement negotiation that is not going the way you think it should contact an attorney that has experience in claims negotiation most likely bad faith claims.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.