Massachusetts residents have experienced flooding and natural gas disasters this month. As part of the recovery effort, residents will want to file an insurance claim for damages to their home. Below are tips on filing home insurance claims after a disaster, what you should do, and what you can expect.
Contact Insurance Company
The first step is to immediately call your Massachusetts insurance company. They will be able to provide information on what is and is not covered, depending on your policy terms. If you are unable to live in your home, ask your insurance company about rental coverage. They will also provide you with the necessary forms to fill out. If the damages are not covered by insurance, there may be other sources of financial assistance from the government.
This is an extremely important step for filing home insurance claims after a disaster. The sooner you submit claims paperwork, the sooner you will be in the queue to have your claim processed. Be sure to fill out all required fields and include any supplementary information. Photos can be extremely helpful. If you don’t already have photos, take some and include them with your claim.
Prepare a Detailed List
Create a list of all items that were damaged in the disaster. This includes major systems in the home (such as appliances) and your personal property. If possible, include manufacturer names and model numbers, their original cost, and their current market values. Include any photos and/or receipts that you may have available.
Allow Inspection of Damages
Your homeowner’s insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage. Adjusters work for the insurance company and are responsible for reporting their assessment of the damages to your home. Their opinion and write-up will directly impact what your insurance company may cover in damages. To assist with this inspection process, it is a good idea to write a list of the damages. Your list may contain something that the adjuster may miss. Attaching photos is a great idea as well.
Complete Temporary Repairs
The claims process may take some time. Thus, it is a good idea to take steps to protect your home from further damage. For instance, if you have a hole in your roof, perhaps you can have it covered by a tarp. Make sure you have photos of what the damage looked like before the repairs. Also, keep track of all expenses related to your temporary repairs, as these might be reimbursed by the insurance company.
Stay In Touch
Once you have submitted all necessary information, it becomes a waiting period. Occasionally, you should touch base with your insurance company to verify that your claim is being moved through the system and that there’s no issue with the information submitted.
Other Than Filing Home Insurance Claims After a Disaster
Other than filing insurance claims, what else might you need to do? Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a case against other parties for damages. Contact a local Massachusetts attorney for information on what your rights are and what options are available to you. Martino Law Group can be reached at (781) 531-8673 for a consultation.