Rental property owners purchase landlord insurance policies to provide adequate coverage for the property. When property damage happens, the rental property owners start a claim to collect funds for repairs, remediation, and restoration services. Serious property damage can lead to a more profound financial loss if the owner doesn’t take fast action to restore the property. Property owners who need help with a claim are encouraged to review the 9 simple steps for filing a claim throughout landlord insurance.
- Review All Property Damage
Reviewing all property damage helps the rental property owner determine if the tenant must vacate the property until it is repaired. The review also helps the owner determine how much of a loss they have incurred due to whatever caused the property damage. The landlord insurance covers the dwelling itself and any fixtures that are connected directly to it. Mortgage lenders require rental property owners to purchase dwelling coverage through a landlord policy to cover the property and prevent a serious financial loss. The terms of the policies outline what events are covered, such as fires, natural disasters, criminal vandalism, and severe water leaks.
If the damage is minor, the property owner probably doesn’t need to file a claim, and it would be more affordable for the owner to complete the repairs themselves or hire a contractor. It is likely that the premiums for the coverage will increase with every insurance claim the owner files within a predetermined amount of time. If the property is damaged more significantly, the rental property owner needs to file a claim promptly after they complete their assessments. For more information about starting a landlord insurance claim, visit rogerbutlerinsurance.com now.
- Determine if a Crime Occurred and Report It
Reviewing surveillance footage prior to the property damage helps the owner determine if a crime was committed. If the owner suspects criminal activities, it is important they review the footage promptly. If they don’t have a surveillance system, the property owner should ask the tenant and neighbors about the events leading up to the property damage. If it is discovered a crime was committed, such as vandalism, a home invasion, or arson, the rental property owner must contact law enforcement and file a report immediately.
Landlord insurance policies will not provide any coverage for criminal acts if a crime report isn’t filed by the owner. Even if the tenant contacts law enforcement or emergency services, the property owner must come to the property and discuss the matter with the local police. The owner must sign the report to obtain coverage for any property damage that resulted from a crime.
If the insurer determines the owner or tenant caused the property damage deliberately, no insurance coverage is provided and the owner won’t receive payments to repair or restore the property. If arson is suspected, for example, a full investigation is completed to determine if the owner is guilty of arson. If arson is proven, the property owner could face criminal charges.
- Record the Damage With Pictures and Written Documentation
Recording the damage and creating documentation gives the owner evidence of all damages. Photographs and video are strong forms of evidence used in an insurance claim. The owner should write down all damages they see when they conduct their own review of the property. When filing an insurance claim, the owner submits their evidence to the insurance provider, and it is recommended the rental property owner keep copies of all evidence and documentation of the property damage. All images, videos, and written documentation help the insurer determine what happened and if the event is covered under the terms of the insurance policy.
- Determine If the Tenant Caused the Damage
Discuss the property damage with the tenant and get answers about the property damage. Landlord insurance doesn’t always cover property damage that is caused by the tenant. Most rental property owners add terms in the lease to make the tenant purchase and maintain renter’s insurance. The policies replace any of the tenant’s personal belongings that were damaged, lost, or stolen. It also provides coverage for damage caused by the tenant, their family, or their pets.
If the damage was caused by the tenant and it was inside the property, the tenant must file a claim through their renter’s insurance to obtain coverage. If the property damage is outside the property, the dwelling coverage provided by landlord insurance provides coverage for the property damage. However, it is necessary for the landlord to establish if the tenant caused the damage before the owner files a claim.
- Contact The Insurance Provider
It is necessary to contact the insurance provider once you know what is happening. The insurance provider asks the landlord a series of questions about the property damage. They need to know how the property damage happened and how much damage is present. If possible, the property owner can email or text images of the property to the insurer. A claims adjuster is assigned to the landlord insurance claim, and they contact the property owner to set up an appointment to evaluate the property damage.
- Meet with the Claims Adjuster
A claims adjuster is assigned to the insurance claim to determine if the property damage is covered under the landlord’s insurance. The adjuster conducts a full inspection of the property in all areas where damage is present. He or she collects images of their own of the property and the damage. The findings of the complete inspection are reviewed and compared to the terms of the insurance policy. If the property damage and its cause are covered under the policy, the claims adjuster reports back to the insurer and approves the claim. The funds are released to the property owner after all estimates for repair and restoration services are submitted to the insurer.
- Get Estimates for All Repairs and Remediation Services
Contacting contractors and remediation services help the property owner acquire estimates for all repairs and remediation services. The property owner contacts each service provider individually and schedules an inspection. Contractors review the property and identify all repairs needed to restore the property. If there is standing water, mold, or ash inside the property, remediation and restoration services are completed to remove any potential hazards inside the property.
For example, if mold is found in the property, mold remediation services are needed. A professional who is familiar with EPA regulations regarding mold removal, treatment, and sanitation after the treatment will schedule those services. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations, all items that are covered in the mold must be wrapped in thick plastic sheeting and labeled according to the exact species before it is eliminated. Testing services are completed to identify the mold species and treat it properly.
The tenant cannot return if mold is found in the property until the mold remediation services are completed. It is necessary for the service provider to sign off on the contract for remediation services indicating that the property is safe for the tenants and their families. If any additional mold is found, the services must be performed again until all the mold is gone. Some black mold is classified as toxic and increases the risk of serious respiratory illnesses and fatalities. Rental property owners face serious liabilities if they allow a tenant to live in the property if it is unsafe.
- Get Medical Invoices for Any Injuries Sustained in the Property
Obtain any medical invoices if an accident with injuries occurred on or inside the property. Landlord insurance provides coverage for liabilities, such as premises liabilities. To obtain coverage for medical expenses, rehabilitation services, and replace wages lost by the victim, the rental property owner must file a claim through their insurance. If the claim is approved, the funds are released to the victim directly to cover their expenses and replace their wages. The victim must prove that the property owner was aware of the hazard that caused their accident and injuries.
- Calculate Any Financial Losses Incurred by the Owner
Calculate any financial losses incurred by the owner. Landlord insurance provides a replacement for any income the rental property owner lost due to property damage or covered events, such as fires or natural disasters. The funds are available when a tenant fails to provide monthly rental payments or if the property is uninhabitable for an extended period. Any additional losses, such as damaged furnishings, artwork, and antiques inside a furnished rental property are generally covered when properly insured.
Rental property owners purchase landlord insurance for protecting their investment. With proper coverage, the owner receives funds to pay contractors and service providers for all necessary repairs and restoration services. When starting a claim, the owner needs a complete inspection of the property and to collect evidence of the damage. A claim’s adjuster is assigned to the claim for completing a full evaluation and comparison between the property damage and the terms of the policy. Property owners complete all vital steps for processing insurance and lower the risk of further property damage.