What should I do and not do after I have a claim?

DO:

  • Keep a file of all documents that relate to your claim.
  • Keep all damage available for the insurance adjuster to inspect. One of the many duties listed on your insurance policy is to, as often as reasonably required, show the damaged property to the insurance company.  If you are going to make a claim for it, be sure the insurance adjuster has had a chance to inspect it. 
  • You also have a duty to protect your property from further damage, or mitigate your loss. This includes roof tarps to stop water from coming in, dry out in the event of a water claim, etc. 
  • Keep all receipts or invoices of work that has been completed. Put them in your file.
  • Get the business card of every person who approaches you regarding your claim, particularly the people retained by the insurance company. Put these cards in your file.
  • Keep all correspondence to and from the insurance company in your file.
  • Do your due diligence before retaining or hiring contractors, tree removal companies, public adjusters and attorneys. Be sure they are duly licensed if a license is required.  Also, be sure to check their credentials to see that you are getting the most experienced competent people on your team.  A little work early on in your claim will save you time and aggravation in the long run. 

DO NOT:

  • DO NOT SIGN ANY DOCUMENTS FROM PEOPLE WHO KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR OR “COLD CALL.” In the fog of the aftermath of the storm, it is tempting to sign something from someone promising to take care of everything.  This is not wise in the long run.  Instead, take the document and tell them you will review and get back to them. 
  • Do not complete any repairs, except to mitigate or protect the property from further damage, before the insurance adjuster has inspected.
  • Do not throw away items that you are claiming before the insurance adjuster has inspected.

Kim Adams, AIC

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Kim began her distinguished career as a multi-line claims adjuster for insurance companies. Kim Adams was a staff adjuster working for various insurance companies for 10 years.

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