Neither sleet, nor wind, nor floods, nor hail cost homeowners as much as fires.
“Fire-related claims are the most expensive,” says Insurance Journal, which compared fire losses to weather-related claims.
Insurance covers much of that loss. And that’s the good news. The bad news is that consumers are thrust into the unfamiliar territory of the insurance claims process at the very same time they are physically tired and emotionally distraught after suffering a disaster.
All is not lost, though.
You can prepare today for that possibility. You can take steps right now. And you can do much of that prep work with your smartphone.
We’ve assembled three steps to prepare yourself for an insurance claim.
1.) SCAN YOUR POLICY
Keep a copy of your policy documents on your phone and in the cloud. Make sure it includes coverage levels and phone numbers. The advantage here is faster access to you insurer – so you can be among the first in line to meet with the adjuster who will pay your claim.
2.) INVENTORY YOUR HOME
Anyone who has dealt with the unfortunate circumstance of a significant loss at their home can tell you one of the most stressful events is having to list your possessions immediately after you’ve lost them.
There is a better way.
Use your phone –today-- to snap pictures of each room. Pay particular attention to valuable items. The more detailed you are with an inventory, the more you are likely to be paid in full when you file a claim.
Some insurance companies even offer free apps that help automate the process.
3.) SAVE RECEIPTS
Insurance companies sometimes reimburse policyholders for expenses they incur before meeting with an adjuster – minus their deductible, of course. These expenses can include alternative living costs (like hotel stays and meals) or emergency repairs to make your home habitable. The key is to document the need for the expense and save receipts to prove that the expenses were legitimately linked to your loss.