After you go through a natural disaster and your home suffered damage, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company to make a claim. Although this is a difficult time, you need to fully understand the process and how it works so you do not have any hold-ups in receiving payment for your damages. Here is what you need to know:
What Are Your First Steps?
When you contact your insurance agent, you need to ask several questions. First, you need to describe your damage and whether or not it is covered under your policy. For instance, if your home suffered damage from flooding, you need to ask if your insurance policy covers flood damage.
You also need to find out how long you have to file your claim. There may be a limit as to how long you can wait until you make your claim. You also need to ask about your deductible and if your claim will exceed that amount. You should find out how long until your claim is processed and if you will need to provide estimates for your repairs.
What If You Need Alternate Housing?
If your home is damaged to the point that you cannot live in it, you need to maintain a record of your costs. Your homeowner's insurance policy may be able to reimburse you for those expenses if your home's damage is covered. Be sure to ask about this before you make your accommodations so you can plan accordingly.
What Do You Need to Do Before the Adjuster Arrives?
Your insurance adjuster will make an appointment to visit your home and evaluate the damage. He or she may send you a proof of loss form to fill out beforehand. You should provide as much information about all of your losses in addition to your home's damages, including your home's contents. You should describe each item as much as possible, including when you purchased it, how much it would cost to replace, and the like.
To make the process as quick and efficient as possible, maintain a spreadsheet of your damaged items and provide it to your adjuster. Do not throw anything away until after the adjuster's visit.
Walk around your home and identify all the structural damage to the house. You also need to include any other structures, such as a shed or garage. Look for cracks in any structure and damage to the roof. You may also want to have your electrical system checked and contact Anthony Ricciardi Licensed Public Insurance Adjuster for further help.
After we purchased our first home, we realized that it might be a good idea to evaluate our insurance coverage. Although we had purchased homeowners insurance before, we had never owned a policy as large as the one we would need for our new place. Also, our new home had a trampoline and a swimming pool, which made us worried about liability. To iron out the details, I decided to meet with our insurance agent. We talked about things like monthly premiums, coverage limits, and deductibles, and it was incredible to learn more about the terminology. This blog is designed to help you with the same types of questions.