Preparing to File an Insurance Claim

Knowing what to do when you have to file insurance claim can help you avoid some of the headaches, heartache and red tape involved in tackling the process. It can also help you get better value for your insurance dollars. Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing to submit your insurance claim:

  • Contact your insurance agent, broker or insurance company as soon as you can to report how, when and where the damage occurred. Provide a general description of the damage.
  • Prepare a list of damaged or lost items and provide receipts if possible. For your personal property items, separate the damaged from undamaged items for your adjuster’s inspection
  • Take as many photos or videos of the outside and inside of the building, including damaged personal property and label them by room before you remove anything, including items of exceptional value, to provide to your adjuster. For items like washers & dryers, hot water heaters, kitchen appliances, TVs, and computers, include a photograph or record of the make, model, and serial number.
  • If possible, keep damaged items or portions of those items until the claims adjuster has visited your home. For your building items (e.g., flooring), retain samples such as carpet, wallpaper, and drapes for your adjuster’s inspection.For your personal property items, separate the damaged from undamaged items for your adjuster’s inspection. Do not throw away anything you plan to claim without discussing it with your adjuster first.
  • Immediately throw away flooded content items which pose a health risk, such as perishable food items, clothing, cushions, pillows and the like after photographing
  • Keep receipts for all additional expenses that you may incur such as lodging, repairs or other supplies.
  • Make copies of all documents and pictures given to your claims adjuster or insurance company.