A Guide to Filing a Property Claim After a Disaster
There are a number of different reasons why you might need to file a property claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy. Disasters such as storm damage or a house fire are major reasons that people need to file claims. In the unfortunate event that you experience a disaster that strikes your property, there are some important steps that you need to follow when filing a claim with your insurance company.
Check The Property For Damage
The first thing that you will want to do is to check the property for damage after an incident. You want to be able to tell the insurance representative what areas of the home are damaged and what the extent of the damage is when you begin filing the claim.
When you first call your agent or the claim’s department at your insurance company, you will be asked a number of questions about the damage that your home has sustained. You want to be able to answer these questions as thoroughly as possible. This information helps the insurance company know how to process the claim most efficiently.
Get The Claim Started As Soon As Possible
It is important that you file your claim with the insurance company as soon as possible. There are several reasons for this. First of all, your insurance company will have options that will be able to assist you in a disaster. Insurance companies can send out restoration companies that can put tarps on damaged roofs, pump out water in the house and other mitigation services. Your policy will most likely include additional living expenses coverage. This coverage lets you and your family get a place to stay while the home is being repaired.
Another important reason to call the insurance company right away is that if a storm has hit your area, there will be many people calling in. The adjusters will start to get booked up quickly, and you want to be among the first to get someone out to the property to get the damage assessed.
As soon as possible after the damage has occurred, you should take pictures of the damage. This provides a visual record of the damage. Often, you will be asked to send in pictures when you initiate the claim.
Mitigate Your Damages
Whenever you have damage to your property the insurance company will expect you to mitigate your damages. This means that you must do what you are able to do in order to keep the damage from getting any worse. Insurance companies will allow you to make temporary repairs to your property. For instance, if you have a pipe that is broken and the house has been flooded, it is expected that you will turn the water off at the meter so that the flooding is stopped. If you’ve had wind damage to a window, it is expected that you try to board up the window or cover it so that additional damage does not occur such as from rain entering the home through the window.
Prepare For The Meeting With Your Adjuster
Once you claim is initiated, an adjuster will come and look at the damage to your property. You need to be prepared for this appointment. It is important that you know what is in your policy. Take the time to read the portion of your insurance policy that deals with the type of loss that you have sustained so that you understand your coverage.
When the adjuster is at the site of damage, make sure to point out all of the damaged areas of the property so that the adjuster fully understands the extent of the damage. It is often a good idea to have your contractor on site to meet with the adjuster and discuss the repairs with the adjuster.
The property claims process can seem daunting. However, if you follow these steps, the process should go smoothly and quickly.