31 Jan 2023
Storm damage to property

Do you have a first party claim for property damage?

For the Sacramento region, 2023 started off with severely damaging wind and rainstorms.  Trees have fallen on homes and cars and over a dozen people are reported to have died from the storms. The Sacramento County Emergency Services Office estimates that the total property damage countywide caused by the storms is approximately $123 million, a number that is expected to change as additional first party claims are made.

What is a first party claim?

A first party claim is filed by a policyholder (the first party) and their insurance company (the second party). A first party claim for property damage would occur when an individual suffers storm damage to their home, for example.

So, what should you do if your home was damaged in a storm?

Safety is paramount.

If you can’t live in your home, you may need to temporarily relocate to a hotel while your home is being repaired.

Open doors and windows and turn off utilities at the switch if told to do so by the authorities.

Document everything.

Take photos and videos of all damage, including structural damage as well as personal property damaged or destroyed by wind, rain, and/or flooding. If possible, take photos while it’s still raining and immediately after the rain stops so you can show that the damage occurred during the storm.

Seriously. Document. Everything.

It is likely that your insurance policy requires that you prevent additional damage to your property after the storm. Therefore, you should document all efforts made toward that end, including keeping all receipts.

File a first party claim.

You’ll need to timely file a claim with your insurance carrier. You can do that yourself, or you can hire a state-certified public insurance adjuster, or a law firm, like us, to advocate on your behalf. The roles of CPIAs and law firms differ in many ways. One of those differences is that CPIAs, while extremely valuable resources for homeowners, cannot go to court for you if your insurance company denies your valid claims in bad faith. We can.

Give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

Written by Michael Fraser