Taking a little extra time before filing a claim will help reduce errors and speed up the claim process. Here are a few tips to help with the claim process and get you started on the road to recovery.
Before contacting your agent
In order to speed up the claims process, have the following information ready: address, policy number, date and time of the loss/damage, and your contact information-especially if you are unable to stay in your home.
Gather all evidence of loss
- Make a detailed list of missing and damaged property-compare the list to your property inventory if you have it.
- Video or photograph your damaged property before beginning any repairs.
- Do not throw away throw away damaged property without your adjuster’s approval.
- Document the value of each object damaged/lost. Include bills of sale, canceled checks, and credit card statements. Estimate the value and record dates and locations of purchases if you don’t have any receipts.
- Make a list of cleaning and repair bills; including materials, rented and purchased equipment. Save all receipts.
- If you are unable to stay in your home, record any additional living expenses such as car rental, hotel and restaurant bills.
Put the evidence in a safe place
Make a copy of all your evidence for the adjuster and keep the original documents in a safe location to prevent them getting lost or damaged.
Review your policy before you contact your agent
Knowing your policy can help reduce confusion during the claims process. Have a copy of your policy on hand when meeting with your adjuster.
Start a log documenting your claim
Create a contact log and record information for each contact with your insurance company. Include dates, conversation summaries and names, titles, and contact information of claims personnel. This will help speed up the claims process.
Don’t rush to settle your claim. Allow enough time to evaluate and document the full extent of the damage, as some damage may not be immediately apparent.