PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As some homeowners affected by Hurricane Irene access damage to their homes, many expect that insurance will help them make necessary repairs. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan continues to cover the insurance aspects of the storm and has more information that homeowners need to know.
Traditional home owner policies will normally cover wind and water damage from above, such as if a tree crashed onto your home and rain comes in. Those policies will not however normally cover rising water. In those cases you needed to have purchased flood insurance in advance of the storm..
When filing an insurance claim due to storm damage, there are some things you need to do to move that claim along because timing is everything:
First, contact your insurance company immediately – give them a telephone number or address where you can be reached at all times.
You’ll want to make temporary repairs to prevent more damage as a result your house being exposed to the elements.
Be sure to document the damage with photos or video before you do any repairs whether they be inside or outside your home. Make sure that you keep receipts for everything you do.
Separate damaged from undamaged property. Keep samples, (of fabric swatches and pieces of furniture) to offer proof of the claim.
If you haven’t been assigned an adjuster within a few days, contact your insurance company again. You’ll be asked to make a list of damaged or lost items for your adjuster and within 60 days of that request you’ll need to file what’s known as a proof of loss.
You’ll get a proof of loss form from your adjuster. That proof of loss is a sworn statement that substantiates the claim and includes a detailed estimate to replace or repair the damage. Without it, the insurance company won’t make a payment.
Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3