No one wants to file a claim, but things happen, and knowing what to do next to prevent further damage is essential. Here are some common questions regarding claims you have most likely asked or something to remember the next time you file a claim.
Q: I have a hole in my house/roof from an object (ex., a tree, ice). Can I remove the tree/cover the hole to prevent any further damage?
A: Yes! The last thing we want is any more damage! But please remember to take pictures and keep receipts for any neccesary immediate repairs; your insurance company and your agent will want to see what damage was caused by the object, so please make sure to get plenty of photos – documentation is critical!
Q: I have damage from a leak or a small fire. Can I call someone to help me clean up?
A: Yes! Some insurance companies already have specific companies that they work with (i.e., ServiceMaster) that will document the damage for the insurance company to submit for your claim and ask for a copy for your records! If your insurance company works with a specific clean-up company – give your insurance company or us a call!
Q: I had someone come to my house after a storm claiming to be my insurance company asking to estimate the cost of the damages. How do I know if they are my insurance company?
A: Your insurance company and assigned adjuster will only contact you if you’ve requested a claim be filed. They will already have your policy and claim number. So anyone who asks you for this information is probably not your insurance company but a ‘Storm Chaser’. Carefully read any documents given to you or that requires your signature. If you are still unsure—give us a call.
Q: A recent storm came through, and my car might have been damaged. What are my next steps?
A: If you unsure of damage or cost of any possible damage, you can request an initial estimate from your preferred body shop. If possible damage is found, call your insurance agent or company directly to file a claim, they should tell you the next steps. Some tips are to take photos of the vehicles and make a note of previous damage that was already there. If you are unsure if there is any damage that may not be seen, wait until an adjuster can look at it before you drive it. Some damage might not present itself right away, unlike hail.
Q: I recently experienced a fire; what are some important things to document and keep in mind?
A: Your adjuster will ask you to put together a personal property inventory of items damaged or detroyed. Sometimes going off our memory of what we have, in the tragic moments after a loss, is really difficult. Before a claim happens, keep a documented inventory of everything in your home/garage and keep it in a safe deposit box or somewhere off property. This can be photos, digital storage card or even a video. If you cannot keep a list, take photos of the damage, and create a list of what you lost and its estimated value. It may be helpful to make a list of items that were in each room; kitchen, master bathroom, kids bathroom, master bedroom, living room, pantry, storage closet, etc. Keep clear receipts of any items purchased to replace the items damaged as your insurance adjuster may require it.
Q: My roof is leaking due to an ice dam – is it covered by my home insurance?
A: Depends on your policy. It is common for home insurance to cover damage caused by backup of melting water that enters the home. However, not all policies cover this. Make sure that you take pictures of the damage and take steps to prevent any further damage. Read our article on Ice Dams, to learn about on how to avoid another claim.
Claims are the last thing that we want to deal with. Each claim can be as unique as each individual. Knowing your policy, coverages and limitations, can help lower surprises in the event a claim happens.