Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) August 15, 2006
Expect the best, prepare for the worst. It’s a motto to live by when you’re worrying about a major natural disaster. Whether you live in Tornado Alley, along a major fault line, or in a coastal state during hurricane season there are measures homeowners can take before and after a disaster, which increase the turn around time for insurance claims.
If disaster strikes what should a homeowner do first?
“Immediately report damage to your insurance agent or insurance company,” says Diana Fink who has 35 years of experience in the insurance adjusting industry.
While waiting to hear back from the insurance company, homeowners must make emergency repairs and document them.
“Most insurance policies require protection against further damage,” says Fink who is the founder of Central Insurance School.
To protect against further damage, patch up damaged structure with plastic and boards. Be sure to document the repairs with before and after photos, as well as receipts.
If water damage is an issue, you may need to protect against mold. Have a qualified professional extract standing water from the home and dry wet areas by running fans, moving furniture away from walls, opening cabinet and closet doors, and removing wet items like floors or walls; but don’t throw anything away.
“You may want to use the credit card to finance repairs and help document transactions,” says Fink. “And if you hire someone to make temporary repairs be sure they are licensed and insured.”
In a worst-case scenario, a home may be uninhabitable after disaster. If that’s the case, lock up the property, turn off the gas and electric, and leave a phone number where you can be reached with the insurance agent or company.
“Uninhabitable homes may be difficult for the insurance adjuster to identify,” says Fink.
For this reason, purchase a can of spray paint while you’re stocking up on non-perishables before disaster strikes.
Homeowners also need to complete a home inventory, long before disaster strikes. Documentation of insured possessions makes it easier for the insurance adjuster to evaluate property damage.
“Of course, all homeowners can agree that the best way to increase insurance claim turn-around time is to have the ability to file a claim,” reminds Fink.
For that reason, anyone forced to evacuate their home should consider bringing important insurance papers along. To file an insurance claim, the insurance policy number and the contact information for the insurance company is a must.
For more information on insurance adjusters, visit Central Insurance School online at http://www.centralinsuranceschool.com or call 800-571-2003.