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Don't wait until after winter to file a property damage claim

As Minnesotans, we know that we still have several weeks of cold, snow and ice ahead of us. However, that doesn't mean it is wise to wait that long to file a claim for property damage caused by weather.

Let's imagine your home was damaged after this most recent storm. Maybe your windows broke or your roof was damaged because of the ice and snow accumulating. If you wait to file a claim with your insurance company, you could wind up getting some pretty bad news.

To begin with, you might learn that failing to fix the problem right away caused other problems. What started as a small issue could lead to more extensive problems with plumbing, the foundation or your entire roof. The cost and time of repairs could skyrocket.

Additionally, your insurance company could deny your claim for compensation. This could happen if your policy specifies a time limit on when a claim must be filed. Insurance companies often use vague language regarding timelines, which is often open to interpretation. In many cases, they might deny a claim by arguing that you did not fulfill your duties after a loss. But words like "prompt" and "as soon as possible" can mean very different things to different people, and a claim denied for this reason may warrant a challenge.

It should also be noted that while there is a clock ticking for you, there is also a clock ticking for insurance companies. In Minnesota, state laws require companies to respond to and investigate property damage claims in a timely manner. Failure to do this could be punished as unfair service.

With all this in mind, Minnesota property owners won't want to delay when it comes to filing a property damage claim. If you have questions or concerns regarding timeliness, insurance policy requirements or wrongfully denied claims, then you can speak with an attorney to examine your rights and legal options. And doing so sooner, rather than later, can prove to be a wise decision.

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