After the hurricane: Tips for filing an insurance claim

April 22, 2013 

Source: FEMA

First, review the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Insurance Claims Handbook. It provides additional help with the process of filing a claim.

If possible, photograph the outside of the premises, showing the any damage or flooding. Also, photograph the inside of the premises, showing the damaged property and the height of the water if your property was flooded.

Call your insurance agent to report your claim. If you have seperate flood insurance, also call your flood insurance agent to report your claim. Your flood insurance agent will prepare a Notice of Loss form and an adjuster will be assigned to assist you.

Separate the damaged from the undamaged property and put it in the best possible order for the insurance adjuster's examination. If reasonably possible, protect the property from further damage.

When the adjuster visits your property, let him or her know if you need an advance or partial payment of loss. Again, good records can assist your insurance companies and the NFIP in giving you an advance payment. Use your inventory to work with the adjuster in presenting your claim.

Damaged property which presents a health hazard or which may hamper local clean-up operations should be disposed of. Be sure to adequately describe and photograph discarded items so that, when the adjuster examines your losses and your records, these article are included in the documentation.

Good records speed up settlement of your claim. Compile a room-by-room inventory of damaged goods, and include manufacturer's names, dates and places of purchases, and prices. Try to locate receipts or proofs of purchase, especially for major appliances, and note manufacturers' names, serial numbers, prices, and dates of purchase.

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