Protect the Property
One of the most important things to do after a property loss is make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Do your best to protect your property by covering damage in roof, walls, doors, and windows with plastic sheeting or plywood. Homeowners insurance policies may not cover ensuing damage to your property if you have not taken reasonable steps to secure the property from subsequent damage. Be careful not to risk your own safety when making the repairs.
Your insurance company will reimburse you for all reasonable costs to protect your property, as long as you save receipts for any materials you buy. Beware of building contractors that encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs.
Remember that payments for temporary repairs are part of the total loss settlement. Also, don’t make extensive permanent repairs until after the claims adjuster has been to your home and assessed the damage.
After a property loss you must report the damage to your insurance company agent or representative to start the claim process. We can discuss the following with you:
- Does my policy cover the property damage to my home?
- How long will it take to process my claim?
- Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs to the structure?
- What is my deductible? (The deductible is the portion of the loss you pay before your insurance company begins to pay.)
Your insurance company may send you a claim form, known as a "proof of loss" form, to complete. Proof of loss is a formal statement made by a policy owner to an insurer regarding a loss. It is intended to provide the insurer with information to determine the extent of its liability.