As you probably should already know, there is a list of basic duties that you are required to do after a loss that is part of your homeowner insurance policy. These can be found by carefully reading your policy. However, there are some additional things you should understand and do regarding your insurance claim.
Helpful Ideas That Go Beyond Your Fundamental Duties
1. Resist your natural inclination to hurry everything along. Take your time to collect your thoughts and determine the TRUE extent of the damage. Consult with repair professionals to determine what is damaged and what the necessary repairs will cost.
2. Remember that the adjuster who comes to your house works ONLY FOR the insurance company, not for you. The adjuster has only the insurance company's interest at heart.
3. Be very careful about hiring the adjuster's "preferred" company. The preferred contractors may be more loyal to the company giving them the work than you, the policyholder.
4. Make sure the only work you authorize is for temporary repair or emergency service mitigation type work, limiting the damage.
5. Take a multitude of photos, both wide-angle and close-ups, of anything damaged. There is no such thing as too many photos.
6. Ask your adjuster IN WRITING to provide you a complete “certified copy” of your policy. The policy is the instruction manual for your claim. You need an up-to-date copy. There will be no cost to you to receive a certified copy.
7. The insurance adjuster is going to keep a written log of all activity associated with your claim. It would be wise for you to do the same. Don’t let the insurance company be the only one documenting the claim.
8. Put any request for information or answers to the insurance company in writing and force them to respond accordingly. Things that are in writing carry infinitely more weight and can be verified if needed, unlike that which is merely spoken.
9. It is common to be asked to submit to a recorded statement. Take this seriously. But while the tape is running, ask them to agree to give you a copy of the recording as well as a transcript if the recording is transcribed. Also, record your statement with your own recorder at the same time.
10. Finally, do not discard or throw away any damaged business equipment, clothes or household items before the claim is completely settled and YOU HAVE THEIR CHECK IN YOUR HAND! We call this keeping the evidence.
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