What to Do When Your Property is Damaged
There are a few things you need to do as soon as possible after your property is damaged. The first thing is to contact your insurance company and document the damage. The second thing is to make a police report. Document the damage and gather all receipts. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, and they will send an adjuster to evaluate the damage.
The first step: call your insurance company
The first thing you should do after your property is damaged is call your insurance company. In most cases, you will need to file a claim within a year. However, time limits vary from state to state. Waiting too long can make it harder to prove damage. Also, secondary damage may occur if you wait too long to make repairs. Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to inspect your property. You will need to fill out claim forms and provide photographs or videos of the damaged property.
If you can, make an inventory of your possessions before calling your insurance company. It will help your adjuster identify the damaged items more easily. Try to take pictures or make a spreadsheet with a detailed description of each item. It is helpful to keep purchase receipts, too, which will help the insurance adjuster match the damaged items with the right ones. Keep these documents in a fireproof safe. It is also a good idea to make electronic copies of these documents as well.
Then, wait for the insurance adjuster’s response. Normally, the adjuster will send you a written estimate of repair costs. It will include a list of materials used in the repairs. The insurance company may also issue a check to cover some of these costs.
If you do have to call your insurance company, be sure to write down important details. This way, you will have a reference when you need to clarify anything later. In addition, you should take photographs and videos of the damage. You can also make a detailed inventory of your possessions. If you have any receipts for purchases, you should provide them. Lastly, do not throw away any damaged property until after the insurance company inspects it.
After the insurance company receives your call, your insurer will send an adjuster to inspect the damage. Your adjuster will also visit the home to assess the damage. Your insurance adjuster will be the person you will communicate with during the claims process. He or she will ask questions and help you figure out how much your claim will cost.
The second step: make a police report
The police report will help your insurance company to expedite the claim process. It will also help the police document the incident and determine if there is enough evidence to make an arrest. However, filing a police report does not guarantee that criminal charges will be filed against the person responsible for the damage.
You should write down all the details of the incident, including the names of witnesses and dates and times. Then, provide the police with your contact information and any documents related to the crime. Once the police arrive, they will confirm the information you provided and may ask you additional questions.
The third step: document the damage
The first thing to do when your property is damaged is to document the extent of the damage. Document all the changes that occurred to your property and all of the items that were damaged. The value of each item is important in a claim against your insurance provider. Make sure to secure all valuables and consider temporarily storing them. Also, get legal representation to protect your interests in the insurance claim.