Although we may want to believe “nothing like that will ever happen to me,” the unfortunate truth is that many of us, at some point in time in our lives, will deal with a loss, large or small, that we did not expect. Here are some key things to keep in mind when that happens.
- Call your insurance company. – Notify your insurance company as quickly as possible. It’s important that they know about the damage as soon as it happens, or as soon as you’re made aware of it. Failure to provide prompt notification could potentially result in a denial of coverage.
- Take lots of pictures! – Take pictures of any and all damaged items and affected areas. The more pictures, the better! Take them from every angle and don’t miss the little items. Be sure to take pictures of the model numbers of any larger items, such as televisions, vacuum cleaners, computers, or gaming consoles.
- Document everything. – Record your date of loss, what happened when, and write down the names of anyone you speak to. Be sure to keep all invoices and receipts for every repair and/or replacement item, no matter how small.
- Mitigate the problem. – Depending on the situation, it may be days or more before your insurance adjuster can get out to look over your damage. It is very important to make sure you do what you can to keep the damaged areas from worsening. Not taking proper action to stop the cause of loss can result in your claim being denied due to negligence.
- Do minimal clean-up. – Cleaning up too much can result in destroying pertinent evidence that the loss ever existed. In order to be made whole by your insurance company, they will need to see the damages in as close to loss condition as possible.
- Do not throw anything away, no matter how bad its condition. – Throwing things away is like throwing money away. If there is no proof of what was ruined, you’re likely to have trouble getting it replaced. Instead, move the damaged items from their original location and place them in a safe area where they can be revisited at a later time when needed. Consider making two piles, one with the items that are salvageable and one with the items that are not.
- Be patient. – Whether it’s scheduling appointments, waiting for estimates, or processing checks…it can often seem like a lifetime when you’re dealing with disaster and looking to get back to the way things were before your loss. Remember, getting a claim settled can take some time. If you have questions about the process or anything along the way, reach out to the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim.
At Gilmartin Insurance, we understand that Northeast PA experiences all sorts of different weather! That weather can cause unexpected issues. Our clients know that can trust us to offer guidance in situations like these. You don’t have to go it alone. We’re here to help!