Accidents and calamities don’t happen all the time, but when they do, they’ll catch you by surprise. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts when you have a flooded property.
Filing a water damage claim probably won’t be the first thing you’ll think about, and therefore, you should always be prepared with the necessary documents before a calamity can even hit your property.
When filing a water damage claim, you need two types of documents. These are documents that you need to prepare before you can file a claim, and documents you need when filing a claim. We will discuss the difference between these two so you can prepare them before a calamity hits your home.
Filing a Water Damage Claim – A List of Documents You’ll Need Prepared Before That Day
Before a crisis can even hit your property, you should have already prepared the necessary documents. But which documents should you prepare?
- A full copy of the insurance policies
After you’ve got an insurance policy, don’t forget to ask for your copy. You will need to read through your insurance policies, so you will know what your coverage is. Knowing what it covers and what it doesn’t will guide you when filing a claim.
- Personal IDs
To ensure that the water damage claim will go smoothly, you should prepare your ID cards. If you have a representative, make sure you secure their ID cards, too. This will allow the insurance company to determine if you’re the rightful owner of the policy.
- Receipts of major purchases
When it comes to filing a claim, you’ll need proof of the value of your properties, so make sure to keep the receipts or credit card bills of your major purchases. If you have proof of the total cost and value of your purchase, it will be easier for you to file a claim. Otherwise, the insurance company will just assume the market price of the item, which is normally lower than the actual price you’ve spent.
The prices of other items like pieces of jewelry and artwork are often hard to evaluate, so make sure to keep track of the receipts or any proof of purchase for your belongings. Keep them in just one folder so you can easily track them.
- An inventory of your belongings
If you want the evaluation process to be faster, then you should keep track of your belongings. Create a list of all your items, together with their corresponding costs, model names, and other important information. You can list all items with monetary value so you can file a claim on each item.
- Photos and videos of your property before the water damage
Since you have an inventory of your belongings, you can supplement it with visual proof, either a photo or a video of your items. You can take photos of every nook and cranny of your rooms at home. The videos will serve as supplemental proofs of your ownership.
- Original and copies of your documents
Being prepared for any calamity is the best way to save yourself. Safe keep your documents before a calamity can hit your home. Aside from securing original copies of your documents, make sure you have photocopies and virtual copies, too. Scan your documents and save them in a hard drive.
When Filing – Here are another list of documents you need to prepare…
Let’s say the inevitable has already happened – your home is flooded. Now what?
This is the time for you to prepare the necessary documents that will help provide you with financial relief. The documents you have prepared will be very useful during this time. You can compare the state of your properties before the calamity and after the restoration phase. To make this process smoother, you need to keep a straight mind and prepare the following documents:
- Photos and videos of your property after the water damage
After the calamity, you’ll need to collect evidence of the condition of your belongings. Your insurance company or the public adjuster will visit your home, but the best form of evidence is having photos and video recordings of the damage.
It would help if you have a comparison of the before and after the water damage. Take close-up photos of heavily damaged items so you can show how bad the damage is.
- An inventory of the damaged/destroyed items
Remember when you had to do an inventory of your belongings? You can use that during this phase. You can create an inventory of the current condition of your items after the flood. With your post-damage inventory, you can enter detailed information about the damages of your items. This will help you list the items that will need you to incur expenses. Thanks to this inventory, you can list the items that may give you financial relief.
- Receipt of expenses during water damage restoration
To ensure the speedy process of your insurance claim, make sure to obtain proof of all the expenses you’ve incurred during the restoration process. If you have read the terms and conditions of your insurance policy, you’d know the expenses you can get a refund for. It’s important to fix water damage as soon as possible, because of the following reasons:
- Prolonging the exposure of your items to moisture can cause more damage than necessary.
- It can cause electric shock, especially if you have several appliances.
- Other elements can heighten the dangers if you have water leaks at home.
If you hired someone to help you with the restoration phase, make sure to save all the receipts associated with the service. Also, keep the receipts for the restoration of the properties that have been damaged or destroyed. If you chose to stay at a hotel for temporary accommodation, make sure to keep your receipts, too. You may be able to get these reimbursed.
These are all the documents you need if you want the water damage claim process to go smoothly. Make sure you keep these documents safe, so when the calamity hits, filing a claim will be less stressful.