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You’ve Called Your Insurance Adjuster in Atlanta! Now What?

August 1, 2020

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Calling an insurance adjuster in Atlanta is an excellent means of ensuring you receive a maximum payout from your homeowner’s insurance company after a fire, flood, or other such disaster. Public adjusters evaluate damage, review your policy, and negotiate with the insurance company as needed, so nothing is overlooked and you know if your insurance agent is offering a fair settlement.

What an Atlanta public adjuster doesn’t do, however, is help restore your home back to its original condition! They also can’t help you mitigate that damage or explain what might be needed to ensure your house is safe for you and your family. Before you go through a flood, house fire, break-in, storm, or other such event, note some suggestions on what to do to keep damage from getting worse and restore you home to a like-new condition.

insurance adjuster Atlanta

Documenting Evidence for Your Atlanta Insurance Adjuster

Your safety and that of your family and pets is of first concern, so ensure you keep everyone away from a flooded area, fire-damaged or storm-damaged room, and the like. It’s even recommended that you send the kids away to the grandparents or elsewhere and board the pets while you get through the restoration process. Not only will they be safer away from damaged property but this also ensures you can get through any cleanup process more easily.

Once interior spaces are safe, you’ll want to document as much evidence as possible for your Atlanta insurance adjuster, but use caution about cleaning up before they arrive. Take photos of a flooded space and damaged property including personal goods, and don’t neglect what might seem like minor damage including smoke stains, damp upholstered furniture, and so on.

Note that your Atlanta public adjuster will typically examine damaged property themselves, which is one reason to avoid starting any cleaning process before they arrive. Your adjuster will need to note the extent of damage, how much property was damaged including personal items, and what cleaning and restoration is needed to repair your home properly.

What Cleaning to Do, and What to Avoid After a Disaster

After your Atlanta claims adjuster has left your property, it’s time for cleanup and repairs! Small spills might be cleaned with a rented wet-dry vacuum and professional carpet shampooing also ensures a clean and healthy space. For stove top fires, you might simply purchase a new stove and exhaust hood or upper cabinetry. However, it’s also vital that homeowners realize what work is best left to a water or fire damage restoration company.

For example, a larger house fire might damage load-bearing walls and beams; without proper repairs, a ceiling or doorway might outright collapse, risking injury to anyone in the vicinity, or your home might settle and shift, resulting in cracks along walls, floors, and ceilings. If you’re not sure what walls and beams in your home are load-bearing, leave cleanup work to the pros.

insurance adjuster in Atlanta

Fire damage restoration is also more difficult and complicated than homeowners realize, as soot and ash don’t remove easily with household vacuum cleaners. It’s also easy to simply scatter those residues, so they become airborne and land in other areas of the home. Soot and ash also get trapped in a person’s hair and clothes, which also transfers them to other areas of the home.

Drywall and wood framing also tend to absorb water quite quickly, so that larger floods often result in damage to wall studs and beams, softened drywall, and damaged subflooring. Trapped moisture then risks mold growth behind walls or along the front of drywall. Water-damaged wood also tends to weaken and then cup, bow, or chip, so that the home settles and cracks form.

Remember, too, that floodwaters often contain unhealthy sediment and other debris. Trying to remove that water or clean affected surfaces on your own, without proper protective equipment and with ineffective cleansers, can mean serious health risks! You might also end up with unpleasant odors, or make stains worse by spreading around dirty water.

To avoid these risks, call a water damage restoration company after a flood. Never assume that walls and floors will simply dry out or try to cover up musty smells with deodorants and candles, but protect your home from long-term damage and mold growth with professional water cleanup and repairs. Your Atlanta public adjuster can note if such services are covered by your insurance policy.

Your Atlanta Public Adjuster and Your Insurance Company

One additional part of getting your home and life back in order is dealing with your insurance company, which is now the job of your Atlanta public adjuster! It’s helpful to know what they’re doing behind the scenes while you’re working hard to restore your home and other property, so you know how long a settlement and payout might take and what to expect throughout the process.

Typically an Atlanta insurance adjuster reviews your property damage details, noting the extent of damage and potential repair costs. He or she might need time to research those factors before responding to any insurance settlement offer. Your public adjuster also reviews your insurance policy, noting what property and damages are covered, any exclusions or exceptions, and maximum benefits allowed.

In some cases your adjuster might need to deliver the bad news that certain property was not covered or that your insurance company is correct in denying your claim. For instance, if your negligence caused a house fire, you might not be due compensation for damaged goods. If your insurance company is offering the maximum benefit, that may be all he or she can get from them and might not be able to negotiate a higher payout!

However, your insurance adjuster in Atlanta usually ensures you receive far more money than an insurance company offers originally, and notes expenses and costs you might overlook. These expenses might include property cleanup and restoration, personal property replacement costs, the cost of staying in a hotel while your home is being repaired, odor neutralizing services, and so on. To ensure a maximum payout, work closely with your public adjuster while you go through the cleanup and restoration process.

 

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