Checklist for filing an insurance claim after Hurricane Irma:
Below is a checklist to follow in order to ensure a properly filed a insurance claim:
- Ensure the property is safe to enter prior to entering. If there is standing water still in the home, do not enter unless you have an electrician inspect and turn off all power.
- Get in touch with your insurance agent and/or your insurance company to file a claim.
- Request a copy of your policy be sent electronically to you in pdf format. You will need to review your entire policy for an understanding of what you are entitled to and what you are responsible for under your policy, including if the event is even covered.
- Do not begin cleanup, repairs, or throw anything away until you notify your insurance company!
- Take extensive photos and videos before and during the inspection of the building, damaged personal property, cleanable items, structural damage, and the standing flood levels of water in the house
- If the roof is missing shingles, have qualified contractor mitigate the damage by installing tarps to protect the property from further damage.
- Document the damage to the building as well as the personal property. List the dates of purchase, values, and receipts, if possible.
- Take plenty of photographs of everything, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
- If your home is uninhabitable, keep track of any living expenses that can be reimbursed. Without receipts, you will not be able to collect any Additional Living Expenses (ALE) during the time the house is uninhabitable.
- Only hire licensed contractors to do the work. Beware of signing a contract with an “assignment of benefits” (also referred to as AOB) clause which gives all the rights and proceeds of your insurance claim to the contractor.
- Request copies of all estimates and reports from the insurance company adjuster.
- Once the damage for the building/dwelling, the personal property and ALE is assessed, a “Proof of Loss”can be filed. This is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming (along with any necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. Make sure to check for mistakes!