Whether it’s an earthquake, hurricane, or fire, dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster can be a stressful experience. On top of taking care of your family, you also have to deal with taking care of damage done to your home. Here are some tips for filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster.
KNOW YOUR POLICY
Before disaster strikes, you should know exactly what your policy entrails. For example, most insurance coverage doesn’t automatically cover earthquakes and it’s something you will need to add. Knowing what is covered ahead of time can help save you time and additional stress if and when the damage occurs.
The first thing you’ll need to do is evaluate the amount of damage that has taken place in and around your home. This means taking pictures and documenting what has been lost or damaged. If possible, try to include before photos so insurers can see how the house was maintained prior to the occurance of the disaster.
In some cases, there may be repairs you need to make right away in order to avoid further damage, such as a leaky roof or damaged foundation. Start this as soon as you can and then save your receipt so you can be reimbursed by your insurance company at a later date. Complete this step after you document the damage.
START A CLAIM
After getting all of this information together, it’s time to file your claim. This is your first step towards getting into the system. During this time, you will receive your claim number which you will need throughout the entirety of the process. You will also receive the necessary forms that you need to complete.
After the forms are submitted, an inspector from the insurance company will most likely be sent to your home. Give them copies of the list/photos of damaged property, receipts, or other forms of proof you may have. Be aware that if the disaster is widespread and affected several hundred people, this may slow down this portion of the process a bit.
Once you complete this process and your claim is approved, you will be sent a reimbursement check from your insurance company. After this happens, you can select a contractor to help rebuild your home and replace any items you may have lost.