Here are 6 tips to receive all you are entitled to receive from your insurance claim.
- Make sure the necessary people have your current phone number where you can be reached. Then, answer your calls, even if you don’t recognize the number. Playing phone tag slows down the process.
- Documentation is vital. Take specific photos of the damage before disposing of anything during cleanup.
- Do NOT save spoiled food for inspection. Instead, take photos of refrigerators and freezers and dispose of spoiled food.
- Remove wet/soiled carpet and pad before mold and mildew set in.
- Have clothes professionally cleaned in an attempt to salvage them.
- Keep your receipts, such as hotels, meals, and emergency provisions. Many of these expenses are reimbursable.
- Track the time and the number of people working on your property’s cleanup.
- If you stay with family or friends, discuss an amount of reimbursement that would compensate them for additional food, utilities, laundry, etc., for the time (number of days) you are there.
“Most people think because their family/friend isn’t charging them, they can’t claim it, but they should,” says Linda.
- If you’ve lost everything, the insurance company will ask for an itemized list of everything you lost, its value, and its age. Group like items together. For example, socks – 6 pairs. Keep a record of every purchase you make and record the total cost. You will remember things for weeks afterward and can add to them as you do.
This is excellent information to have after a disaster, but can we do more to prepare before the worst happens? Linda says, “Absolutely!”
- Review your insurance policy every year with your agent. “So many of us never look over the policy after the first year,” Linda said.
- Think about new furniture, appliances, and improvements to the property.
- Make adjustments for content coverage. Consider current replacement costs.
- Maintain a detailed Inventory of your property. Document everything!
- Take a walkthrough video of your home.
- Photograph every piece of furniture and appliance in your house. Include small appliances, dishes, cookware, and cutlery, too. Be sure to snap a picture of the model, serial, and brand name. Keep or photograph receipts when you purchase new items.
- Don’t forget to document your clothing and personal items. Include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, curling irons, makeup, entertainment items, tools, garage contents -EVERYTHING!
- Review and update the inventory regularly.
- Keep copies in multiple locations. An electronic file in the Cloud, a safe deposit box, or placed with a trusted friend or relative works well.
- Scan and convert family photos, videos, and other memories into an electronic format. Store in the Cloud or safe deposit box or a trusted friend or relative
Habitat is committed to helping individuals thrive by creating safe, healthy, affordable living places. Protecting the life you build at home is critical to family health, wealth, and well-being. For more ways you can prepare to thrive when disaster hits, visit www.ready.gov