We hope this finds you and your family safe. Now that Hurricane Ida has passed, the rebuild begins. For most homeowners, insurance plays a large role. Chehardy Sherman Williams attorney Jacob Young offers three areas of importance when dealing with your insurance company.
- Initiation. The first step is initiating your claim. Typically, your policy or declarations page, contains instructions for a reporting a claim. If you cannot find that information, many people contact their insurance agent. This may be helpful but keep in mind your agent is not often your insurer. Take the next step of contacting the insurer directly. Remember, you can always request a copy of your policy from your agent or the insurance company itself.
- Documentation. From initiation and throughout, documenting your loss is crucial. Documentation is an action under your control to better help your claim. Some common ways to document: Photograph the property damage. Photograph all your personal property. Journal or keep a notebook. Keep any documentation of remedial. Lastly, often overlooked, is to document your communications with your insurance company. Email if possible, take notes, and retain copies of anything you provide.
- Mitigation. This protects both your claim and your property. Your policy contains a ‘duty to mitigate.’ This means a duty to prevent damage from getting worse. For example, placing a tarp over roof damage, securing the property’s broken windows or doors. Of course, when you take mitigation steps, make sure to document. If it’s a cost incurred, it may be covered under the remedial repairs allowed in your policy.