Important Documents to Prepare when Claiming Water Damage Insurance
When you have faced a calamity, it is easy to get lost in your thoughts. The last thing on your mind might be the necessary documents to prepare when claiming water damage insurance because, after all, you have a flooded property. This is the reason why you need to prepare these documents before a calamity can even hit your home.
The preparation for any adversity should be done before it even happens. However, there are still documents that you need to prepare before you can file your insurance claim. This article aims to prepare you for making an insurance claim. Moreover, we plan on providing you with a sense of direction during a crisis. Read and find out more about the important documents to prepare when claiming water damage insurance.
The Importance of Insurance for your Property
Other people may think that insurance is just an added monthly expense. However, getting an insurance policy can save you if an emergency occurs. While you can do everything in your power to prevent foreseeable events, you cannot control fortuitous events. You cannot prepare for earthquake, war, fire, typhoon, storms, hurricanes, or even theft.
In the event that there is damage to property, the cost can pile up unexpectedly. The worst thing that can happen during a crisis is that you may end up with nothing left to your name because you did not want to pay a small fee to your insurance company. This is why you need to get ahead of these emergencies by equipping yourself with property insurance.
Daniel Myers best explains the importance of property insurance in this manner:
“The basic goal behind buying insurance is to make you financially whole following a loss. You agree to pay a (relatively) small fee to an insurance company today, causing a small but certain loss to you now, in exchange for a guarantee from the insurance company that it will bear the burden of a large but uncertain loss in the future.” (https://www.investopedia.com/articles/insurance/09/property-insurance.asp)
Getting yourself insurance may seem tedious and burdensome now due to the fee that you have to pay. However, it will provide you with financial relief during an uncertain point in your life. When you have insurance for your property, you are protecting yourself from experiencing added damage during a crisis.
Important Documents to Prepare for Insurance Claim before Water Damage
When you are prepared, you can face anything. Before a crisis hits your property, it is important that you have certain documents prepared. The documents listed below are necessary when you file an insurance claim. Therefore, it is important to prepare them beforehand for easier processing in case an emergency occurs. Some of the important documents to prepare when claiming water damage insurance are the following:
A. Full Copy of Insurance Policies
Once you have taken the step in getting an insurance policy, you need to request for your own copy of your policy. It is important to read through your insurance policies in order to be informed of your coverage. It is important to know what is covered and what is not covered by your insurance policy.
When you study your insurance policy further, you would know the limitations of your insurance coverage. You would also know the ceiling of your insurance if you read through your policy. Furthermore, you can have proof of your insurance coverage when you have your own copy.
B. Personal Identification Cards
In order to ensure that the insurance claim process will go smoothly, it is important to prepare personal identification cards. Apart from your own IDs, it is important to store copies of the identification cards of your authorized representative. This will allow the insurance company to determine if you are really the rightful owner of the policy.
The insurance company will have a copy of your personal details, but having an identification card on hand when needed will help you during the insurance claim process. This can prevent any potential inconvenience that may occur. In addition to this, people may not be able to think straight during a calamity and saving their identification cards may be the last thing on their mind.
C. Keep Receipts of Major Purchases
In order to have proof of the value of your belonging, you must keep receipts or credit card bills of your major purchases. This will help you in your insurance claim, especially when you have a proof of the cost and value of your purchase. When you do not have any proof of the price of your valuables, the insurance company will assume the market price of the item. Normally, the market price is lower than the actual price that you have spent.
There are also other items with a price that is hard to evaluate like artworks and pieces of jewelry. This is why it is important to keep track of the receipts or any other proof of purchase of your belongings. In addition to this, it is advisable that you keep these receipts in a single folder for easier tracking.
D. Create an Inventory of Belongings
If you wish to make the valuation process easier, it is important to keep track of your belongings. You must create a list of the item and its corresponding costs, model name, and other necessary information about your valuables. You can list all the items that have monetary value in order to make a claim on each item.
E. Take Videos and Photographs of Property before Water Damage
In order to supplement your inventory of belongings, you must have a visual proof of these items. You should take pictures of every nook and cranny of every room in your home. In addition to this, you can record videos as a supplemental proof of your ownership. It can also help in identifying the items that you have in your inventory.
F. Prepare Original, Photocopy, and Virtual Copies of Documents
When preparing for any calamity, the best way to save your self is by being prepared. Apart from the usual emergency packs that you prepare, it is important to safe keep your documents. Aside from preparing the original copy of the document, you should also have a photocopy of these items that are stored away from the original copies. Since modern technology is available to us now, we can also use it by storing scanned copies of the documents in a hard drive.
Important Documents to Prepare when Claiming Water Damage Insurance
Now that the inevitable has happened, it is time to prepare the necessary documents that can help provide you with financial relief. The documents that you have prepared beforehand will be useful during this phase as you can do a comparison between the state of your belongings before the damage and after the restoration phase. In order to make the insurance claim process smoother, it is vital that you keep a straight mind and prepare the following documents:
A. Take Videos and Photographs of Property after Water Damage
After the disaster, you may need to collect evidence of the state of your property. Apart from the physical visit of the insurance company or the adjuster in your home, the best form of evidence is having physical evidence of the damage. The easiest thing to show as proof of the damage is photographs and videos of your property after the damage.
You can do a before and after comparison of the state of your property with the use of the videos and photos that you had before the damage. It is important to take close-up photos of heavily damaged items to show that they have been damaged by water.
B. Create an Inventory of Destroyed Items
The inventory that you have prepared before the water damage can be put to use during this phase. You can create an inventory of the current state of the items after the flood has damaged your property. With the post-damage inventory, you can detail the damages on the item. This will make it easier for you to list the items that will require you to incur expenses. With this inventory, you can account for the items that may earn you financial relief.
C. Receipt of Expenses Incurred during Water Damage Restoration
In order to process your insurance claim faster, you must keep proof of all the expenses that you have incurred during the process of restoration. If you have read the terms and condition of your policy, you would know the expenses that you can get reimbursement for. You need to save up the receipts of all the expenses that you have incurred while you are in the process of water damage restoration. It is important to fix water damage immediately due to the following reasons:
“You would not want to prolong the exposure of the structure to moisture because the water leak can cause more damage than necessary. It can also be unsafe for your home, especially if you have several appliances running. It can cause electric shock, which can be fatal. The dangers posed by having water leaks are heightened by the presence of other elements.”
You can save up the receipts of the water damage restoration company that you have employed. In addition to this, you need to keep the receipts for the restoration of the items that have been destroyed. Moreover, you can also store the receipts for your temporary accommodation during the water damage stage.
When it comes to fixing water damage, you need to work on it immediately. Find out why you need to fix water damage immediately in this article: The Importance of Fixing Water Damage Immediately
Useful Tips on How to Keep Safe Necessary Documents before Water Damage
Preparing the documents that are needed for your insurance claim is the first step to ensure a smooth insurance claim process. However, it is also important to keep these documents safe in order for you to use them. Find out about how you can keep important documents safe in the section below.
A. Keep Original Documents in Waterproof and Fireproof Container
When dealing with important documents, it is important to safeguard them to ensure that they can retain the integrity. There is no point to preparing your important documents when the aforementioned documents will be destroyed by fire or water. It is important that you are able to protect the documents against the elements. You can keep them in a vault that is fireproof and waterproof. Investing in this type of vault can save you money in the long run and it can provide you with peace of mind during a calamity.
B. Scan Important Documents
In order to have an additional copy of your document that does not take up too much space, you can scan your documents. This way, you can still have a copy of all your documents on a hard drive. It does not take too much space, but you can still access your documents easily.
C. Segregate and Label Documents
You may have a copy of all your important documents, but it will take you ages to find them if you cannot distinguish them. It is important that your documents are sorted by purpose and they have been labeled properly for you to find them easily when you need them.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” This quote may seem like a cliché, but it is true in every sense of the word. During a calamity, the best way to save your home and your self is by staying calm. You would not be able to stay calm if you still have to worry about the documents required for your insurance claim.
In order to have one less thing to worry about, you need to prepare your documents and keep them safe. Finally, we hope that we have helped you to lessen your worries during water damage. For any other concerns that you may have when there is water damage to your home, you can reach out to Water Damage Miami and we will take care of them for you.