Nobody ever intends on being in a situation where they need to make an insurance claim. Whether it's an accident involving your vehicle, a hail storm damaging the roof on your home, or a break-in while you were on vacation, sometimes people need a little or a lot of financial help from their insurance carriers. The good news is, you've paid an annual premium for all these years for a reason! Here are the steps you should take when you need to make a claim.
Ensure the safety of yourself and others involved
The most important thing one can do after an accident, fire, or bad storm, is make sure they keep themselves and others out of harms way. If a fire gets out of control on the stovetop, do not continue to try and extinguish it, simply get out of harms way and make sure family members are safe and move on to step two.
Notify police or fire if necessary
If there is a fire or a law has been broken, contact first responders immediately to get the situation taken care of.
Contact your insurance carrier
Here at Hadley, Cook, and Quillen, our carriers handle all of the claims directly. All of our carriers claims information is on our website here. Simply find your carrier and click for their contact info.
Protect the property from further damage
If a storm sends a tree branch crashing through your window and allows water to damage walls, flooring, etc., it is the insured's responsibility to protect the property from further damage afterwards. If a storm breaks a window and doesn't flood the house until the next storm because the insured never got the windows boarded up or tarped, you may be denied coverage for the flooding.
Complete and inventory of damaged and undamaged property.
The insurance company will need to know what was lost in the incident and what the value is to make sure you get completely made financially whole again. They may require receipts or records to substantiate the loss. If requested, it may be necessary to give a testimony under oath.
Work with an adjuster and get paid!
An adjuster will be in contact to determine how much to pay out, who should fix the damage, and when you'll get paid. There is a deductible on homeowner's policy that is generally $1000, but after a $16,000 roof is destroyed, the $1000 doesn't seem so bad after all.