Home damage from Sandy. LehighValleyLive.com
While the DC region didn’t face the level of devastation that New York City did, we had our share of downed trees, flooding and flying debris. Thousands of residents in our area will likely be spending Tuesday assessing damage to their home, so UrbanTurf put together a quick guide to filing a post-hurricane, property insurance claim.
- Assess damages (carefully) and use a camera. Insurers generally like to see proof of property damage, meaning photos are usually required. Walk around and snap photos of leaking windows, tree branches poking into the roof, and any other consequences of the Frankenstorm.
- Call your insurer. Your insurance company will be able to guide your through the process of filing a claim. Call them and ask about paperwork, timeline and anything else you need to do. It’s important to file as quickly as possible, as many companies disperse funds on a first-come, first-serve basis. Keep written documentation of all conversations.
- Estimate dollar amounts. As best you can, make a list of all damaged items, along with an estimate of their value and as much detail as you can provide, including brand name, date of purchase, etc.
- Create temporary fixes until the insurance company inspects. It could be awhile until the insurance company makes its way to your home, so temporary fixes are likely a must. It is fine to board up windows and dry out wet items, but refrain from permanently fixing anything before your insurer has a chance to do their own walk through. Make sure you document any changes you have made and keep all receipts.
- Start contacting companies to repair damages. Window installers, roofers and tree removal services will be very busy over the next few weeks. Angie’s List and neighbors are always good sources for recommendations. Consider multiple bids before accepting an offer from a contractor.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how_to_file_a_property_insurance_claim_after_sandy/6229
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