frequently asked questions

At FM Agency Group we have been helping Louisiana with homeowners insurance, rental property insurance, commercial buildings, car insurance and flood since 2003

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from our customers

 

CLAIMS PROCESS

Here are the initial steps of the claims process

1. File a claim

2. Speak with your claim rep

3. Claim rep inspects your property

4. Claim rep writes the estimate

5. Claim check is sent

6. Hire a contractor

7. Contractor may have more damage than initial estimate

8. Send Claim rep supplemental estimates

The first estimate is not always your final estimate of damages

 

Do I need to wait for my claim rep before I begin repairs?

Do not throw anything away. You move the damaged items or materials to the side of your house or in the backyard but don’t throw anything away. Take photos or videos. You will be able to communicate with your claim rep and email or text the claim rep evidence of your damage. Once evidence is documented you can begin any necessary repairs to mitigate your damages (lessen further damage or make temporary repairs)

 

Should I tarp my roof before the claim rep inspects my home?

Yes you can hire a contractor to tarp your roof if shingles are missing. You want to prevent water intrusion as best you can and prevent further damage. The claim rep is not going to tarp your roof when they inspect the home.

 

Do I have to pay out of pocket to tarp my roof?

You are responsible for your deductible. If you have a $2500 deductible you are responsible for the first $2500 of damage. You can pay the contractor to tarp your roof and save your receipt and present it to the claim rep. 

 

Am I responsible for my tree limbs causing damage to a neighbor’s house?

No. Flying debris including your roof shingles and tree branches and limbs are not your responsibility. Your neighbor would need to make a claim on their insurance policy for flying debris causing damage to their property

 

What if roofing shingles and tree limbs hit my car?

That would be covered under your comprehensive coverage with your current car insurance company subject to your comprehensive deductible

 

I have a few missing shingles will the insurance company give me a new roof?

Each insurance company will adjust their claims and pay per their policy. This clam decision will not be made by the claim rep inspecting your home because more than likely they are an independent insurance adjuster working for many insurance companies. The claim rep will submit their estimate to your insurance company and the in house insurance company claim rep will make a decision on roof 

 

Can I cash my claim check?

The first claim check you receive is often not your last. There might be more damage discovered and you will need to submit a request for supplemental damage estimate.  By cashing your first claim check does not close the claim or prevent you from collecting more from your insurance company

 

My estimate has recoverable depreciation.  What is that?

All insurance companies would probably pay you depreciation (actual cash value) on your roof until you prove to them you replaced your roof.  A roof claim will often involve two claim checks.  The first one has a deduction based on the age of your roof and you should see a line item on the estimate that indicates “recoverable depreciation”.  This is the amount of you will receive on the second check once you show your claim rep your replaced your roof.  Pictures and the invoice and estimate will be sufficient to collect recoverable depreciation.

 

What if I keep the check and don’t replace my roof?

You can keep the check and not replace your roof but you will not get paid for any future roof claims because you can’t collect twice for the same damage without showing proof of replacement.  This is common on hail claims when the insurance companies pay you to replace your roof but the roof has no leaks and to you the roof still looks good so you deposit the claim check and don’t replace your roof.  Any future roof claims could be denied or heavily reduced by the insurance company

 

Wind, Named Storm or Hurricane Deductible which one applies?

A home insurance policy could have three different types of deductibles that apply to wind

Wind Deductible

This deductible applies to all wind claims. The insurance company would deduct the amount of your deductible from any wind related claim check

Named Storm Deductible

This deductible would only apply if the wind related damage was from a storm with a name such as a Tropical Storm or a Hurricane

Hurricane Deductible

This would not apply to a Tropical Storm but only a Hurricane would trigger this deductible

Any non hurricane related damage would be applied to your all other perils deductible

 

DOES THE INSURANCE COMPANY OWE ME TO REPLACE OR JUST PAY TO REPLACE THE DAMAGED PORTION?

This often falls under matching items or uniform appearance and the examples of this can vary. 

As most claim reps will tell you it depends on the claim rep you get because the decision is subjective.  

If you have an older roof and you have missing shingles on the front of your roof you may get a new roof because the shingles on your entire roof are old and will not have a uniformed appearance 

If you have a new roof it would be very easy to purchase the same shingles and match your existing roof so more than likely a small section of your roof would repaired not replaced

A common instance is when you have water damage to your kitchen cabinets

An insurance company will often pay first to see if you can match the cabinet panels from a custom cabinet maker

If the cabinets are older and can not be matched the insurance company should consider replacing all your cabinets because it would not have a uniform appearance

Some insurance companies offer a “matching endorsement” with a limit of 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 so this issue is not up for debate between you and the insurance company

 

 

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

Do you represent A rated insurance companies?

Yes we represent over 15 insurance companies A rated from AM Best and Demotech, a financial stability rating agency

We have one company that started in the late 1880s and one that has over 1 billion in net admitted assets at the end of 2019

We can offer financial stability and company size in Louisiana to help find you the right choice

 

RENTAL PROPERTY INSURANCE

If my tenant has a dog am I covered?

If your tenant has a vicious breed of dog on the prohibited breed list the answer is no liability, but if they do not have a prohibited breed any dog claims will be covered up to 500,000

Most rental property insurance policies don’t extend liability so it is important if you allow your tenant(s) to have pets you have the coverage you need

 

If my tenant damages my rental property is it covered?

Accidental damage caused by your tenant would be covered but intentional damage such as punching holes in drywall after an eviction would not

Intentional damage would be covered by a security deposit and accidental damage would be covered by your rental property insurance

CAR INSURANCE

Do I need Uninsured Motorists?

You do if you are employed and need your income  

Uninsured Motorists (UM) will add liability coverage on every car on the road that will take care of your injuries if the other driver either has no insurance (most do in Louisiana) or not enough insurance (most do in Louisiana)

You are basically adding disability insurance for yourself and your family in the car after a car accident that includes lost paycheck compensation if you can’t go to work

This is the one insurance coverage on a car insurance policy that is for you and the insurance company would prefer you reject it