The best time to prepare for property damage is before it happens. We’ve outlined basic information and steps to take should your home or business experience property damage.
Steps to Take if You Have Property Damage at Your Home or Business
The initial steps after discovering damage to your home or business are critical.
- Report the damage to your insurance company.
- Ensure you and your family are safe and, if needed, have a place to relocate.
- Secure the property from further damage.
- Assess the damage.
- Document the damage with handwritten lists, photographs, and/or video.
- Do not begin repairs until they have been approved.
- Contact a professional Public Insurance Adjuster at The Claims Company.
Types of Property Damage
You should reach out to a professional Public Insurance Adjuster if your home or business sustained property damage from, for example, the following:
- Freezing water
- Various types of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and mudslides
How to Properly Document Property Damage
The purpose of property damage insurance is to place policyholders in the same position they were in before the damage occurred. Disputes arise when policyholders and their insurance companies disagree over what property was actually damaged and how much the property was worth. Generally, you can think of “property” as both your structural property and your personal property.
For both types of property, policyholders are well-advised to begin preparations for potential property damage long before there is any actual damage, by creating evidence of the property in its working condition with pictures, videos, or hand-written lists.
The procedure is simple enough; take some time to periodically move through your house with, for example, a video camera. Take a video of every inch of your property, inside and out, and, for best results, dictate onto the video how much each piece of personal property is worth, and why.
For example, as you move into your master bedroom and videotape your jewelry box, state into the microphone “this box includes a diamond necklace appraised in 2020 at a value of $5,000,” or, as you take a video of a picture on the wall, state “this picture was purchased at a garage sale in 2018 for $400.” Do this once every couple of years and store the video in either a fire-proof heavy safe or a safe deposit box offsite.
Remember to keep your estimates reasonable. If, for example, you state that an old (but not antique) wooden step stool is worth $500, you will lose credibility and the insurance company will assume you have overestimated everything.
How to Contact a Professional Public Insurance Adjuster After Damage
For both types of property damage, a professional Public Insurance Adjuster at The Claims Company can help guide you through the often painful experience of replacing and repairing your damaged property. If we can help you, contact The Claims Company online.