After Irene: How to Handle Your Insurance Claims
Though Hurricane Irene did not end up being as terrible as some had feared, the damage in many areas is still very significant. If your home or business property has been damaged, dealing with the insurance claims to repair it can feel stressful and confusing.
Whitford strives to alleviate some of that confusion by providing our clients with helpful tips, as well as making ourselves available to you for questions or concerns during difficult times.
The Insurance Information Institute offers a few helpful tips:
- Be prepared to give your agent or insurance company representative a description of the damage to your property. Your agent will report the loss immediately to your insurance company or to a qualified adjuster, who will contact you as soon as possible in order to arrange an inspection of the damage. Make sure you give your agent a telephone number where you can be reached.
- If it is safe to access the area, take photographs of the damaged property. Visual documentation will help with the claims process and will assist the adjuster in the investigation.
- Prepare a detailed inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. Make two copies—one for yourself and one for the adjuster. Your list should be as complete as possible, including a description of the items, dates of purchase or approximate age, cost at time of purchase and estimated replacement cost.
- Collect canceled checks, invoices, receipts or other papers that will assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property.
- Make whatever temporary repairs you can without endangering yourself. Cover broken windows and damaged roofs and walls to prevent further destruction. Save the receipts for any supplies and materials you purchase as your insurance company will reimburse you for reasonable expenses in making temporary repairs.
- Secure a detailed estimate for permanent repairs to your home or business from a licensed contractor and give it to the adjuster. The estimate should contain the proposed repairs, repair costs and replacement prices.
- If your home is severely damaged and you need to find other accommodations while repairs are being made, keep a record of all expenses, such as hotel and restaurant receipts.
If you still need assistance, or have questions about your claims, please don’t hesitate to contact Whitford Insurane Network. We’d be happy to discuss the issue with you and provide any assistance we are able to.