What Do You Do in the Event of a Loss?

The loss has occurred. The roof is off of the house and devastation abounds. What do you do?

When you become aware of damage, the prudent man rule governs. First, you must keep additional harm from happening while looking for the proximate cause. Secondly, keep detailed financial records of all costs sustained while protecting your property from additional destruction. It is wise to take date stamped photographs and/or video of the damage after you have stopped additional loss from occurring.

Then it becomes imperative to assess if services such as those of a water and fire restoration company are required.

Water loss, which is the most common claim, needs to be dealt with quickly. The sooner the moisture is gone, the less the cost of repair is likely to be and the better off you’ll be in terms of keeping the damage to a minimum. From an insurance standpoint you have to report a water loss within 14 days of the occurrence in order not to prejudice your insurance carrier, which may possibly negate coverage.

In terms of your personal property, the last thing you want to tell the adjuster is “I have lost everything,” without having a descriptive narrative to evidence the actual, specific items that were lost.

In other words, when you sit down to discuss the claim with the representative, you have documentation to support your claim. The support can come in 3 forms. The first and the easiest is to photograph and/or videotape your personal property prior to damage happening. In the case of a videotape, not only can you illustrate images of your property but you can also provide a verbal tale of where and when you bought the item and how much it cost you when you got it.

Secondarily, receipts for recently purchased items are reasonable to have in your possession and maintain in a safe place. No one has receipts for everything they own over a lifetime, but it is reasonable to have the transactions for newer items on bills or statements set aside for evidence in the event of a catastrophe. Finally, an itemized inventory list for every object that you own is ideal. Certain accounting software for personal use such as Quicken has a household inventory database that can be used not only to track your belongings but also to help calculate your net wealth.

Therefore, if something should happen and you can provide photographs and/or video footage of your belongings coupled with receipts and possibly an itemized inventory list, your claim should go smoothly in terms of making sure that you have properly calculated and accounted for the financial loss.

Please give us a call in order to help tailor a strategy for preparation of claims documentation prior to a loss, as well as to discuss emergency actions in the event of an unforeseen event that requires immediate action. It is our pleasure to help you in coming up with a plan that will allow you to maintain control in the event of a happening. If you have any friends or family that may find this article interesting please forward it to them.

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