In a time of flood crisis, the last thing you need to do is worry about the how to go about filing a claim. Ensure a quick and efficient process by being prepared before a flood event. Today, we will walk you through the claim filing process, to make sure you know what to do and what to expect.
Filing the claim
The first step of submitting a claim is the initial phone call to your insurance agent. It’s important to be detailed about the flood event, describing the current situation and answering initial questions. Your insurance agent will initiate the claims process. You can rely on your insurance agent or broker for next steps, best practices or information on available assistance with relief services.
Working with your adjuster
Your adjuster will be assigned after the initial claim call. He or she will work with you, walk through the property and collect the samples or proof of damage. Your claims adjuster is there to validate proof of loss items and make sure your request includes all potential costs. Because adjusters have experience with damaged property inspections, you can rely on them to help you compile your list and may even identify other damages you may not have considered. Also, you may have immediate needs for contractors to restore power or replace basic necessities. Do not officially hire anyone without first consulting your adjuster. Don’t assume what contracted services will be covered without confirming your coverages in your policy.
Salvaging the samples
If you can do so safely, move through your property and collect samples of damaged property, carpeting or drapery. Remember it’s important to be safe as sometimes electrical components can be submerged underwater and can cause hazardous conditions. If you have receipts or proof of purchase for any possessions that are damaged, collect those as well. These samples and receipts will be relevant to your assigned adjuster in completing the proof of loss.
Take pictures of everything
Providing pictures of everything is critical. Include interior, exterior or street damages of the flood damage as well. Your cell phone can do the trick if you don’t have a camera available to you. Be mindful of potentially damaging your cell phone before submitting all your photos. Consider emailing your pictures to yourself or your adjuster as soon as you take them to make sure they are stored safely. Imagine taking 100+ photos of your property only to drop your phone in flood water and losing all your samples.
Once your adjuster makes his or her final determination, you may have a limited number of days to file an appeal, should you disagree with the findings. If you can, work with your adjuster to come to an agreement for a monetary amount. If you cannot, you can escalate the communication to your assigned adjuster’s supervisor or your insurance agent’s claims department.
Hang in there
Being a victim of a flood crisis can be devastating. Rely on your insurance agent, your assigned adjuster and first responders for immediate relief resources. It’s important to know that while you may have suffered catastrophic property loss, things can be replaced, and memories stay with you. The rebuilding and recovering process can seem interminable, many times 30-60-90 days for determinations from insurance alone. Hang in there and do not be discouraged.
The best advice is to be prepared for a devastating flood before it happens. Know precisely what your coverages are. The National Flood Insurance Program is the government resource providing general tips and information.
To learn more about how we can support your flood insurance needs and help you save money, check out more information on the flood insurances we offer.