A large portion of the country, mainly on the East Coast, was recently devastated by Winter Storm Jonas. If you have been affected by the storm and have some sort of property damage, call your insurance broker ASAP! To have "all your ducks in a row," it may be prudent to document the damage. Taking pictures is always a great idea; this allows the claims process to run smoothly. The insurance company will most likely ask you to complete a "proof of claim form." DO NOT ignore this request. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends taking the following steps when filing an insurance claim:
Homeowner's and Renter's Insurance Claims:
- Create a list of damaged/destroyed items and photograph or videotape the scope of the damage, as long as its safe.
- Save your receipts from temporary repairs, as the insurance company should provide reimbursement.
- If the damage to your home is so great, that remaining in it is not a possibility, notify the insurance company. Many policies will pay for additional living expenses if you need to relocate.
- If you have a mortgage on your home, the lender may hold on to the settlement check in an escrow account until it's time to pay the contractor to repair the damage to your home.
- Fill out the National Flood Insurance Program Notice of Loss form within 60 days of the flood.
- Take photographs and document any items that were damaged or destroyed before removing/moving or repairing them.
- Keep records of all bills.
Auto Insurance Claims
- Review your policy with your insurance broker to figure out if your vehicle is covered. Generally winter-related incidents are covered under the 'comprehensive' part of a policy.
- Ask your agent or broker what documentation you need to support your claim (proof of claim form, police report, etc.)
- Keep accurate records!
Sources: - Insurance Information Institute & Property Casualty 360