Get help with your claim
Protecting Your Property
Your policy says that you have a duty to protect your property. If immediate repairs must be made to avoid further damage, you do not have to wait for your adjuster’s inspection before you begin making those temporary repairs, such as tarping the roof. Most policies include a reimbursement provision for temporary, reasonable repair costs that you incur when making repairs to avoid further loss. Be sure to save all receipts for reimbursement consideration and do not discard any items prior to the inspection.
You also do not have to wait on your adjuster before selecting a contractor, however you should wait to make permanent repairs until your inspection has been completed.
If your policy provides coverage for personal property damage, the next step to take is to make a list of damaged items for your adjuster. Do not discard any items before your inspection. Your list should include the following information about each damaged item:
• Proof of purchase/receipts
• Model number
• Purchase date
• Purchase price
Additional Living Expenses:
If your adjuster determines your home to be unlivable due to a covered loss, the use of a hotel or rental property may be reimbursed (pending the amount of time required to complete the repairs). Your policy may also provide for Additional Living Expenses, meaning that you may be reimbursed for the increased cost to maintain your normal standard of living while you’re unable to live in your home due to a covered loss. The amount of time for which you’ll be reimbursed is limited and will depend on your policy provisions.
Americas will cover any necessary increase in living expenses incurred by you so that your household can maintain its normal standard of living.
For example: if you typically spend $100 weekly on food, and you were displaced and spending $150 weekly on food because you don’t have access to a kitchen - $50 is the increase in living expenses. Americas would cover the additional dollars per week provided receipts are submitted indicating the name and address of the restaurant, date and costs.
To find out if your policy includes this provision, please contact your agent.
Payment will be for the shortest time required to repair or replace the damage or, if you permanently relocate, the shortest time required for your household to settle elsewhere.
If a civil authority prohibits you from use of the "residence premises" as a result of direct damage to neighboring premises by a Peril Insured Against, we cover the loss as mentioned above for no more than two weeks.
Flooding is not a covered peril under your homeowners or dwelling policy.
Tips for Selecting a Contractor:
It is important to select a qualified contractor in your area to handle your repairs. When selecting a contractor, be sure to:
Ask your friends and family members who have recently hired a contractor for their recommendation.
Use your local Better Business Bureau to find out about your contractor’s work history.
Ask any contractor you consider for a list of references and verify them.
Verify that your contractor possesses workers’ compensation and liability insurance.
Make sure you receive a written contract that includes payment terms as well as a complete itemization of all repairs to be performed by your contractor. Do not sign the contract until you are familiar with the terms.
My Settlement Questions:
Your deductible represents the amount of a covered loss that you are responsible for as defined by your policy. For example, if your covered damages total $3,000 and your deductible is $500, Americas will pay you $2,500 (not taking into account depreciation).
The deductible is the out of pocket expense for which you are responsible. Americas automatically subtracts your deductible from the total amount of your covered damages.
After your adjuster inspects the damage and prepares an estimate, they will submit your repair estimate for approval. Once approved, the adjuster will contact you to review the estimate, depreciation, deductible and net payment amount that you can expect to receive.
If your mortgage holder has been shown as a payee on your check, please understand we are obligated to do so under the terms of your policy. Please contact the loss draft department of your mortgage holder for their procedure for endorsing payments.
Once your adjuster has completed the inspection, they will prepare an estimate for all covered damages. The company will review the estimate and provide you with a copy. If you have any questions regarding your estimate, please contact your adjuster for assistance.
Depreciation is shown to represent items or materials that are being completely replaced opposed to being repaired. Depreciation is calculated by deducting an item’s decrease in value due to factors including age, life expectancy, condition, etc. from the replacement cost value. This number represents the actual cash value of your items.
Your estimate may reflect depreciation. The depreciation may be applied as recoverable or non-recoverable based on your policy provisions and endorsements.
After the repairs are completed per our estimate, we will pay you the recoverable depreciation amount, unless the actual costs to repair/replace the property was less than our estimated replacement cost.
In order for Americas to pay the recoverable depreciation, the following is required:
• Notification within 180 days of the date of loss
• Documentation showing the repairs are complete and expenses incurred in the form of:
• A signed contract for performance of the repairs
• A copy of the paid invoices or receipts and photographs of the completed repairs
The above documentation can be mailed, faxed or emailed to claims to firstname.lastname@example.org
While we always pledge to settle your claim fairly, we understand that differences may occur. Our adjusting program, Xactimate, is the industry standard program used by leading professionals and utilizes your zip code to calculate all labor and material costs in your area. There could be differences found during the repair process that were not visible during the initial inspection. If your contractor discovers damages not addressed in our estimate or arrives at a different total from our estimate, it is necessary to contact us before any repairs are started. Our adjuster will settle any differences with your contractor.
Common Claim Questions:
Once your claim has been initiated, you will be given a date and time for your formal inspection. If you were not provided with a date and time for an adjuster's inspection by an Americas claims coordinator, then a claims adjuster will contact you within 48 hours of your reported loss to schedule your inspection. When a major catastrophe occurs, the time period can be delayed due to a large number of incoming claims.
The amount of time it takes to wrap up the claims process depends on a number of factors. Your scope of damages and the number of claims being processed by Americas at that time can be factored into the length of time it takes to complete your claim. In most cases, insureds receive a settlement package within 20 days of the inspection or of when the personal property inventory forms are received.
We do not surcharge or adjust premium as a result of any claim. A number of factors can impact your premium rates, but filing a claim isn't one of them. Your agent can best help you answer any questions you have regarding your premium and review your specific situation with you.
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