The eventuality of disaster shouldn’t be on your mind all the time, no one wants to live with that burden, but being prepared for any eventuality will help give you piece of mind. Though it is not pleasant to think of a natural calamity causing damage to our homes, every year this is a scenario that countless homeowners have to deal with. It can be useful to know what steps you should take in relation to your home insurance, should an unforeseen situation arise such as a flood, fire, tornado, or other disaster.
Knowing what steps would need to be taken in such a scenario can help to ensure that you can get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Ensuring that your home insurance policy information and records are up to date and accessible would help to speed up the claim process during a period of your life that can be incredibly stressful.
Once disaster has struck, it is vital that you contact your insurer as soon as you can. If the event has affected a large number of people, the insurance company may have already dispatched an emergency response team.
Be ready to have to deal with a considerable amount of paperwork, filing a claim involves more than just giving your insurer a call. If you do not have a list of your home’s inventory, you may be able to submit photographs or videos taken in your property to substantiate what items you had.
It is your responsibility to secure the property to the best of your ability. For example, if the roof has been damaged, you may need to cover the broken area with a waterproof tarpaulin to prevent further infiltration. You may also have to board up windows and doors to stop theft of any of your possessions. You would not want your claim to be rejected because the insurer was not able to determine whether the damage occurred as a result of the disaster or afterward.
When an adjuster or inspector comes out to assess the extent of the damage, let them do their work unobstructed. Of course, you will be required to give an input, but you should not try and sway the expert’s own opinion. If they need to talk to contractors who you have hired, the two parties should be able to discuss the issues freely.
Even though you will be under a lot of stress when dealing with an insurance claim, as well as the other problems stemming from a natural disaster, you should ensure that you keep a record of every correspondence you have with the insurer, adjuster, and other professionals that are involved. Make a note of the times and dates of any phone conversations, save all emails, and get as much information down on paper as possible.
As long as you keep a clear head, and understand what your responsibilities are, there is no reason to think that you will end up at a loss as a result of a disaster damaging your home. That being said, you should realize that some insurers are more likely to honor their obligations quicker than others. For this reason, it is important to take out the necessary coverage with a company that has a good reputation, rather than one that offers the lowest quotes.