Filing Insurance Claims: Storm Damage Insurance Checklist
Contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible informing them of your losses. If you are relocated temporarily, provide the new address and phone number. Your insurance company may send a claim form for you to complete, or an adjuster may visit your home first before you are asked to complete any forms. Many homeowners’ policies cover additional living expenses, such as an advance if you need temporary shelter, food and clothing due to sustained damages.
Keep receipts for all monetary expenditures and be sure the check for additional living expenses is written out to you and not your mortgage holder, the bank or other lender. This money is separate from the money used for repairs to your home.
Make only repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your home or business, including covering breaks or holes in the roof, walls or windows with plywood, canvas or other waterproof material. Do not allow permanent repairs without first consulting your insurance agent. Unauthorized repairs may not be reimbursed. If household furnishings are exposed to weather, move them to a safe location for storage.
Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Avoid using electrical appliances, including televisions and stereos, that have been exposed to water unless a technician has approved it is safe.
Preparing for the Insurance Adjuster's Visit
Make a list of damaged items and take photographs of the damage for records of each item, including receipts or bills.
Do not discard items. The adjuster will need to see everything to properly assess the damages.
Identify the structural damage to your home and other buildings on your premises and make a list of everything you want to show the adjuster when they arrive. The adjuster may recommend hiring a licensed engineer or architect to inspect the property.
If possible, get written bids from reliable, licensed contractors for repair work. This may assist in adjusting the claim.
Contact your insurance agent regarding your coverage and the need for flood insurance, if applicable.
If your home was severely damaged, sections may require work be completed in accordance with current building codes. Some insurance companies offer an endorsement that pays for a specified amount toward such changes.