Insurance Claims Do’s and Don’ts after Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew ripped through the Caribbean and Southeastern United States just a few short weeks ago, and homeowners and affected citizens have begun to handle the damage the storm left in its wake. If you are someone that experienced damage to property during the hurricane, here are some helpful tips for filing your insurance claims.

DO Contact Your Insurance Company as Soon as Possible

File a claim for your damaged property with your insurance provider as quickly as possible in order to get the process rolling. Have your policy number, contact information and details of the damage (including pictures) on hand when you call. Insurance companies tend to handle the customers with the most severe damage first — so it will be helpful to them if you are able to provide an accurate description of what has been harmed or broken. Once you have your initial call, your insurance provider should be able to give you a good idea of when an adjuster will be out to visit.

DON’T Forget to Document Thoroughly

An insurance adjuster will come to your property to inspect what has happened. However, it can help to thoroughly document the damage yourself by taking photos, writing descriptions and gathering information. When you make your claim for property, you’ll want to know important details about it, including the name of the property, the company that manufactured it, its price when you bought, its current approximate value and more. Do this for each possession you will be filing a claim for.

DO Make Temporary Repairs

Once you’ve thoroughly documented the damage that has been done to your property and contacted your insurance company about making a claim, make sure you take the necessary steps to protect you and your property from any more damage. Save the receipts for anything you spend and submit those to your insurer in order to be reimbursed. You shouldn’t forget, however, that temporary fixes end up being part of the total settlement cost, so it’s prudent to make sure you don’t spend too much money on temporary fixes so that you’ll have plenty of funds leftover to cover permanent ones.

DO Consider Contacting a Public Adjuster

When you’re filing your insurance claims, consider calling a public adjuster to come out and survey the damage. Public adjusters can ensure proper filing of your insurance claims, help you avoid making key mistakes and possibly ultimately get you a higher settlement.

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