How Much Is Your Property Damage Claim Worth


What you think your property is worth and its actual value, according to the insurance company, are rarely the same. Chances are you’re combining its financial and emotional value—and yes, people can become emotionally attached to their belongings.

Your insurance company may sympathize with your loss, but they’re still only going to consider the property’s financial value. This applies whether your property is a home, vehicle, or a family heirloom passed down for generations, which can ultimately make determining the value of a property damage claim difficult for everyone involved in the process.

What Insurance Does and Doesn’t Cover

Before you can start trying to recover compensation for your property damage, it’s a good idea to analyze your insurance policy. This even applies if you’re claiming vehicle damage from an accident.

Texas, like several other states, follows modified comparative negligence rules. This means that if you’re more than 51% at fault for the accident, your insurance provider is responsible for covering the damages.

You may also be dealing with insurance caps. These are limits insurance companies place on the maximum allowed compensation amounts. However, if you’re not more than 51% to blame for the accident, you may still be able to recover compensation beyond the insurance cap. You can always file a lawsuit in civil court and try to recover the remainder of your damages.

When it comes to damage to a home or property inside the structure, you’ll probably turn to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, and this is when you want to read the fine print. Insurance companies don’t cover all types of damages.

So, what does insurance cover? Most policies cover theft. The items need to be documented in the policy, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble receiving compensation. How much depends on the item and its value is also included in the policy.

If a tree falls on your vehicle, your auto insurance usually picks up the repair tab. An exception can be if you’re only carrying liability insurance. If this applies, your homeowners’ or renters insurance may cover the vehicle damage since it occurred on the property.

If your home is damaged, everything may not be covered. For example, unless you carry a separate flood insurance policy you’re probably not covered for this type of damage. However, almost all homeowner’s policies cover damage from fire, wind, rain, and hail.


You also want to take a look at the deductible before filing a claim. Sometimes, the deductible is higher than the repair or replacement cost. If you decide it’s worth the time and effort to file a property damage claim, there are a few steps to take to help protect its value.

Steps to Take to Protect the Value of Your Property Damage Claim

Okay, you have property damage. Take a deep breath and calm down. Yes, it’s upsetting and possibly even life-altering. Since you can’t go back in time and protect your property, the next best thing is ensuring you receive fair compensation.

Safety is a Priority

Whether it’s theft or damage to a building, safety should always be a priority. This usually means calling the authorities. Not only does this ensure you have an incident report, you’re going to need one if your belongings are missing.

The insurance adjuster will ask for proof of the theft. In other words, the insurance company will want to make sure you’re not hiding your belongings and filing a fraudulent claim. Filing a fraudulent insurance claim is illegal and can result in hefty fines and potential prison time.

The authorities can also help you determine if a damaged structure is safe to enter. The last thing you want to add to your list of issues is medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained in an unsafe building.

Asses and Document the Damage

If it’s safe to enter the structure, grab your cell phone or camera and start documenting the damage. Take plenty of pictures. This is one of those rare times when you can’t have too many pictures.

You’re also going to want to take plenty of notes detailing the damage. If items are missing or destroyed, include this information in your notes. Try not to leave anything out. You can’t give too much detail to the insurance adjuster.

Besides, the more information the insurance company has, the easier it often is for you to resolve your claim.

Try to Prevent Additional Damage

If possible, try to mitigate any additional damage. This may include temporarily patching a missing roof section with a waterproof tarp.

If windows are broken or missing, grab some boards and nail them over the openings, and this can also apply to doorways. The goal is to protect what’s left from additional damage and even thieves.

Contact Your Insurance Company

This is when you’ll be glad you’re paying your monthly premiums on time. When you’re in good standing with your insurance carrier, it can be a little easier to make headway on a property damage claim.


However, don’t expect a check in the mail after the first phone call. This is only the start of the process. Next, an insurance adjuster will come out to assess the damage.

Don’t be surprised if an expert also shows up to help determine the value of your claim. You may want to contact a professional who is working in your best interests. This way, you’re not solely dependent on the insurance company’s damage estimates.

There may be some negotiations before you reach an acceptable settlement. However, don’t forget most types of property insurance policies come with caps. This means you can only receive so much before hitting the cap.

You Can Recover From Property Damage

Losing your belongings or coming home to property damage can be stressful and emotionally taxing. However, it doesn’t need to be a complete loss if you’re carrying insurance. Stay up-to-date on any policy changes, and make sure you add coverage as your list of possessions grows.

Most importantly, pay your premiums on time each month. Following a few simple steps can help ensure your property damage isn’t a complete loss.



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