How to file a property damage claim?

Have you suffered any property damage lately? Okay, we get it – you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you hadn’t. Home accidents can be tough, and repairs can be extremely expensive. So, you’ll want to learn how to file a property damage claim as soon as possible. Of course, this is not an easy process. You’ll want to be extremely careful, and not miss out on any of the important details. That’s why we’ve prepared a short guide to help you with your recovering home from fire, water or anything else. Just stay calm and don’t worry – with some focus and our help, you’ll get through this just fine!

File a property damage claim and notify your insurance company

Okay, let’s begin. One of the most basic things you’ll need to do is notify your insurance company. Yes, this is very basic, but you shouldn’t forget this when it comes to property damage. Just make sure to call up your insurance agent, or your insurance company. Knowing this business, all of them probably have 24/7 phone numbers for claims, so you can notify them at any time. Also, your insurance policy probably compels you to do this – there’s probably a clause requiring you to promptly give notice of your claim.

A man in a shirt and tie, calling to file a property damage claim.

If you want to file a property damage claim, call your insurance company right away!

There’s another thing that we’ll need to mention right away – don’t start doing any repairs on your home right after submitting a claim. If you remove any damages to your property during the claim, you’re risking your entire insurance. In fact, the insurance company may inspect the premises during your claim, and use your repairs as a basis to deny the claim. Basically, if they see no damages, then they don’t need to pay you – so, be careful!

After contacting the insurance company, there’s some general information they’ll probably need in order to proceed:

  • Your name
  • The number of your policy
  • Your home address
  • Type of claim (hurricane, storm, water flood, fire, etc.)
  • A description of the kind of damage that has occurred to your home and property

Securing your property and preventing further damage

Okay, if you’ve made a report regarding the claim to your insurance company, we can move on. Here’s one thing you may not have predicted when beginning to file your insurance claim; the claim adjuster may take ages to arrive and inspect your property. And in the meantime, you’ve got to make sure that there’s no further damage after your initial claim. It’s not just about preventing any further harm to your property, which is basic when it comes to owning a real estate. If any additional damage occurs, there’s a chance your insurance company might not be responsible to fund the repairs. Further damage may be caused by your property not being properly secured, or lingering water causing rot or mold.

A locked gate.

Make sure to secure your damaged property!

So, make sure you secure your home or business that’s suffered damage you’ve claimed. Also, you may want to board up windows or doors that have been damaged. And don’t forget to cover any holes in your roof, if there’s any. Lastly, remove any lingering water and dry that area, to prevent any mould from appearing later. Stuff like this is classified as ’emergency repairs’, and is essential to your insurance claim.

Making temporary living arrangements

Let’s face it – your home has suffered some damage. Depending on how extreme this damage is, you may want to find another temporary residence. You don’t want to live in a household that’s not fully functional and secure, do you? Luckily, your insurance policy probably has a portion dedicated to ‘additional living expenses‘. So, what does this entail, and what do you need to do in order to include these costs in your claim? Don’t worry, we’ve got a few tips.

First of all, this temporary residence should be comparable to your damaged residence. Now you must be wondering – what does this exactly mean? Well, it means that your temporary living arrangements should be similar to your damaged home in size and scope. So, it needs to be similarly furnished, which means having comparable contents. Also,  for example – if you had a home with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a garage, you should find similar lodgings. If you’ve got any pets at your home, of course, you have a right to finding a temporary property that allows pets. As you may know, there are a lot of things to do after moving to a rented apartment. Basically, let’s break it down – you’re entitled to your usual living standards, while you’re away from your damaged property.

Making an inventory of your damaged property

Okay, so you’ve secured your damaged premises and made temporary living arrangements. That’s great, and we know it’s been tough. Nevertheless, now comes the hardest part. If you want to successfully file a property damage claim, there’s one thing that’s crucial. That would be making a thorough inventory. It’s logical, really – if you want the insurance company to pay for your damaged items, you’ll need a detailed list.

And when we detailed, we do mean it. We’re talking about a description of the damaged item, along with the production model number, age, and cost. And don’t make any mistakes – when it comes to cost, it’s not about what you’ve paid for the item when you’ve acquired it. No, you should list what it would cost to replace that item today. That may not seem fair, but that’s how it is. And, you need to do this for every single thing you’re claiming, no two ways about it. We realize that this is the most challenging aspect of the claim. After all, if you’ve suffered extreme losses, some of the items may have been destroyed completely. Nevertheless, you’ll have to recreate this information from memory if need be – you want to be reimbursed for the cost, after all.

A woman, making a list in her notebook.

Making a detailed inventory will be crucial to the claim process!

We hope our guide has helped you file a property damage claim. This is a tough period for you, but with a little persistence, you’ll pull through just fine! And if you need any further help, contact A-Z Claims Adjusters. Just follow our tips, make sure you don’t miss any details, and you’ll be getting your insurance money in no time!