Important Aspects of Filing a Property Claim After a Natural Disaster

Written by Posted On Monday, 23 April 2018 09:55

Those who have had their property lost or damaged from a natural disaster such as a fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, or hurricane should ensure that they take certain precautions to try and guarantee well-being for themselves and their family and reduce monetary impairment as much as possible. Be sure to consider the following safety measures if you are filing a property claim.

Carefully proceed back into the home. Buildings that have undergone structural devastation and are unsafe should not be re-entered unless it is unavoidable. If you must re-enter the home, be tremendously cautious. Dangerous hazards could be present throughout the entire structure such as falling debris or cracking floorboards.

Lock up the house. Depending on the geographical region, if the home went through serious foundational, exterior, or interior damage a makeshift fence may be necessary to ensure trespassers do not help themselves. It is in no one’s best interest if the house can seriously injure a curious individual passing by.

Inform the insurance company. As soon as you can, contact your insurer to confirm that they are aware of the disaster and to formally file a property claim. Note the claim reference number and the name of your claims representative. You may need to contact your car insurance company if your car is damaged as well. Stay in touch with your insurer. If an insurance adjuster has not checked in or contacted you within three days, be sure to call them.

Update the utility company. The utility company will need to turn off service if any disruption to electric or gas utilities or water occurred as a result of property damage. If service where the disaster occurred is not turned off, it could be a hazard to you, your family, or emergency personnel.

Photograph anything that was physically broken. Be sure to take photos of any interior and exterior damage, but do not go in the house if it looks dangerous. Standing water will also be important to document.

Make a record summarizing which belongings were broken. Write down which items were damaged and how much they cost originally. Keep any receipts that you can salvage. Nothing should be discarded unless it could be a threat to your health. However, if something must be thrown away, photograph it beforehand. Samples should be kept in circumstances where there is not a health threat.

Fix only what is urgent. Cover any areas that may be exposed or leaking water that could possibly lead to more problems. Try to stop additional destruction from taking place, but save permanent repairs for the insurance to cover later.

Be ready for the insurance adjuster. This includes preparing your notes, photos, and documents in order to aid the process of damage assessment in moving along smoothly. Try to accurately capture and describe the damage as much as possible. Always try to keep complete records in case the claim needs to be disputed for any reason.

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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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