September 13, 2005 at 10:54 AM EST - Updated September 26 at 7:14 PM
Insurance Coverage from Storm Damage.
1. How does your homeowner policy claim process work? You must first report your claim: Reporting your damage or loss starts the claim process. Once your insurance company has received notice of your claim, a claims representative should contact you as soon as possible.
2. What first steps should you take after a loss? You should review your policy for specific coverage information. However, after a loss has occurred you should generally: look at your damage and determine if there are any safety risks. If safe, have repairs made to prevent further damage -- keep an accurate record of your repair expenditures. You may wish to obtain estimates from contractors experienced in repair work. Major damage may require contractor/engineer inspections. Some repairs may not be covered unless you purchased a specific endorsement. Keep an accurate record of your repair expenditures.
3. What if your home is uninhabitable?
·Payment for expenses that are beyond your normal living expenses may be available.
·Find temporary housing for your family (there is no coverage under the flood policy for this expense).
·Be careful about entering into any long-term leases until you talk to your insurance company’s claims representative.
·Keep all receipts associated with the temporary housing, meals, and other miscellaneous expenses.
4. What about making an inventory? Your insurance company wants to handle your claim as quickly as possible. You can help by making an inventory of your damage and your damaged property:
·The inventory should be room-by-room, giving complete descriptions of the damaged property.
·The description should include brand names, model numbers, age, purchase price, and place of purchase.
·Other information may be necessary on certain kinds of property.
·This list will help our claim representative in handling your claim. A sample inventory is available.
·For your future protection, it would be a good idea to make a detailed inventory of your personal belongings. A photographic record of items is helpful.