Tropical Storm Hermine brought heavy rains and high winds to coastal areas to your community. If your county is currently under a tropical storm watch or warning or experiencing heavy rains, it’s best to stay off the roads, batten down your home, and be prepared for anything. If you do suffer damages from a tropical storm or hurricane, you’ll need to know how to file a claim for it. Here’s how!
Starting a Claim
There are a few things you can do to start a claims process for storm damage. The first things you should always do is contact your agent. The sooner you report the loss, the sooner your claim can be put into action, and the sooner it can be resolved.
The Next Steps
After you’ve reported the loss, the following steps will take place:
- The loss report is assigned to a claims handler.
- A property adjuster will contact you to confirm the facts of the loss. This may include an inspection of the damaged property. The adjuster will then determine coverage may apply.
- The adjuster or claims handler will continue to check on the progress of the claim and make every effort to complete the process efficiently. Some claims can be settled quickly. Others – especially those involving severe damages – may take longer.
Protect Your Property
When a storm damages your property, you should:
- Protect your property from further damage. For example, stop water from leaking by shutting off the valve, place buckets in rooms with water leaks, hang plastic over damaged areas to prevent water from leaking inside and board up broken windows.
- Record the damage done to your property. Make a list of what is damaged in your home or business. Include details when possible – such as the brand name, manufacturer, serial number and approximate price you paid. Organize your list by room.
- Maintain a list of repair expenses. Keep track of the time you spend cleaning up or repairing your home after the claim. Also record any money you’ve spent on materials to temporarily fix the damage. It’s important that you don’t make any permanent repairs until your adjuster has seen the damage.
Keep Track of the Details
To help stay organized and involved, maintain a file regarding your claim that includes the following:
- The “Name of Customer” as it appears on the policy
- Policy number
- Claim number
- Claim handler or adjuster’s name, mailing address, phone number and title
- Estimates, correspondence and notes of phone conversations regarding the claims settlement
Keep this file with you. Wherever you talk to your claims handler or adjuster – at home or at work – your documentation will help ensure the claim is processed in a timely, accurate manner.
For more information about future claims, or to start a claim for damages sustained during Hermine, contact your Colonial agent today!
Read more and find safety tips and tricks at Erieinsurance.com.