Post-Disaster Checklist to Protect Property and Begin Recovery

 

  • If you have emergency problems right after the storm, consult with emergency specialists to ensure your property is safe (either a general contractor or specialists in electrical, structural, plumbing, flood).
     
  • Contact attorney who is specialist in storm (rain/wind/flood event) claims to secure what steps should be immediate taken to preserve your claim and receive more immediate moneys
     
  • Contact your insurance broker/agent and let them know you have a claim. Request their active assistance in processing the claim.
     
  • Ask your insurance broker/agent for a FULL copy of the insurance policy (ies), Homeowners, commercial other policies. You may also have an “umbrella” policy or other policies that cover damages. You may also have a car insurance policy that covers your car or other things.
     
  • Take steps to protect your property from further damage.
     
  • All repairs should be evidenced by written estimates and paid for with check or credit card whenever possible to have a valid record; if by cash, make sure you have detailed estimate/document evidencing all they did with an explanation that this was caused by event.
     
  • Take photographs every aspect of your home; Make sure you describe what each photograph depicts; Load described photographs onto computer.
     
  • Take photographs of every area that you believe is damaged; Make sure you describe what each photograph depicts; Load described photographs onto computer.
     
  • Take video of every single portion of your home, narrating as to location.
     
  • If you have specific items damaged, Create a contact list of insurance broker, insurance broker, mortgage broker, mortgage agent, bank holding mortgage, bank where you deposit moneys, all specialists you have contacted (general contractor, public adjuster, etc.).
     
  • If you have not retained any specialists because you had no emergency, then get specific estimates of all damages by calling a general contractor who is licensed and insured. If necessary, also call specialists who are licensed and insured. If electrical problem, get electrician. If plumbing problem, get plumber. If structural problem, get engineer.
     
  • Make a specific list of all potential damage you see.
     
  • Find a complete copy of your mortgage documents for all mortgages on your property.
     
  • Contact mortgage broker/agent if you need other documents.
     
  • Locate the Deed to your house if you are not sure who the owners of the property are.
     
  • Compare the Deed to make sure the names of the insured(s) are the same.
     
  • If you have your house up for sale, please get all listing documents.
     
  • Locate and compare with whatever policy(ies) you have in your possession.
     
  • Your agent/broker should contact (with you on phone) the insurance company to report the claim.
     
  • Call agent/broker and (confirm in writing thereafter) tell them you expect them to monitor the claim and ensure you get the maximum recovery as soon as possible, and to inform you of any immediate funds that can be received from the insurance company while they are investigating.
     
  • Confirm you are utilizing all proper forms (Sworn Proof of Loss, Content Damage forms, etc.).
     
  • Make sure insurance company has written document with every damage you see and asking they immediately come out and inspect.
     
  • Write insurance company each day/week to ask for written status on claim.
     
  • Whatever they say or don’t say, write letter documenting it.
     
  • If repairs are to be made, make sure you have photographs and video showing the before, during and after repair status. 
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