When disaster strikes, it’s hard to know what to do first. When it comes to insurance claims, the process can feel like an overwhelming task on top of everything else you need to do. However, homeowners can take the following steps to make this process smooth and simple.
1. Get started immediately
With a lot on your plate, it might be tempting to put this task off for a later date. Don’t do it. Contact your insurance agent right away to start the claims process. Provide a description of the damage to your property, and a company representative will walk you through any necessary documentation. If you have a home inventory, provide this to the representative.
Once you start the claims process, your carrier will arrange an inspection of damages. Be sure to provide your contact information – such as where you can be reached – since disasters often change your coordinates.
2. Get the details
As the representative helps you through the process, it’s important to get a clear understanding of what is expected. Find out:
- Whether the disaster damage is covered under your policy
- How long the claims process will take
- What they need from you (estimates for repairs, receipts for belongings)
If your policy offers coverage for the disaster damage, review your declarations page with your agent or company representative to get a clear understanding of what is actually covered, including structural damage, loss of personal belongings, and liability payments. Then you can move forward with decisions on repairs and reimbursements.