AIA's Tips to Recover from Flooding

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As residents across the central United States continue to face flood risks this week, teams of insurance claim handlers are standing by to begin the recovery process. The American Insurance Association (AIA) offers these tips for those who might be affected by the flooding.

Use caution when entering flooded areas. Don’t reenter evacuated areas until officials say it is safe.

As residents across the central United States continue to face flood risks this week, teams of insurance claim handlers are standing by to begin the recovery process. The American Insurance Association (AIA) offers these tips for those who might be affected by the flooding:

1. Use caution when entering flooded areas. Don’t reenter evacuated areas until officials say it is safe.

2. Contact your insurer as soon as possible to report all losses and damages. Provide a general description of the damage and have your policy number handy, if possible. If you have an agent, contact them – they may report the loss to your insurance company or to a qualified adjuster who will contact you as soon as possible to inspect the damage. If you can't remember the name of your company and your agent is not reachable, call your mortgage company – it will have a record of your insurer. Stay in regular contact with your insurer to get the best and fastest results.

3. Keep all recovery-related receipts, including those for meals and lodging – these may be covered under the “additional living expenses” portion of your insurance policy. Talk to your insurance company about temporary repairs. Most homeowners’ insurance policies will reimburse you for reasonable expenses related to immediate repairs needed to prevent further damage to the home. However, don’t make permanent repairs until your insurer has inspected the damage. Secure a detailed estimate for permanent repairs to your home from a licensed and bonded contractor, and give the estimate to the adjuster.

4. Prepare a list of damaged property. If possible, photograph or video the damaged items. Prepare a list of damaged or lost items for your adjuster and make two copies, one for yourself and one for the adjuster. Providing as much detail as you can may help speed things up – consider including a description of the items, dates of purchase or approximate age, cost at time of purchase and perhaps even what it might cost today to replace it.

5. Return claim forms to your insurer as soon as possible. Ask questions if you are unclear about your policy.

6. Build stronger for the future. Ask your contractor about adding features to increase your home’s flood resistance.

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