Home Insurance is a necessary purchase. It provides a sense of protection, even for the protectors of the house. It’s a special message that says “Don’t worry; we;ve got your back.” But what happens when there an accident… the hot water tank blows up, the basement floods, there’s too much rain…? What do you do after the flood? Most policy owners don’t read or even look at their policies before there’s a claim to make. When that time comes will you know what to do?
Step 1: Don’t Panic. Accidents in the home can be life threatening. After your family’s safety is ensured – it’s time to take a step back and realize that your home is a structure, the possessions are only material objects. If you’ve had a bad flood, it’s important to take stock of what is there. If you’ve had a smaller-scale accident, take heart in the fact that you will most likely be replacing some old items and try to salvage what you can.
Step 2: Do whatever you have to do to stop the damage from spreading (without putting yourself in harm’s way). Don’t pile wet items on dry carpet or leave the damage to get worse – turn the water off, etc. . . After the immediate brouhaha is over –don’t touch anything… It’s time to make a phone call.
Step 3: Call your insurance broker, pronto. If you do not have a broker, call the local rep from your company. This is the time to chat about your deductible and decide whether or not you want to make a claim. Take a really good look at the damage… most deductibles are $500 – $1000.
Step 4: Record the Incident. Before the restoration crew or insurance broker comes to your house to take stock of the damage, get your digital camera out and snap pictures of everything was damaged by the surprise flood. Make a list of the possessions damaged by the water, but don’t move anything. Insurance claims usually include the service of packing and moving your possessions and that includes damaged items.
Step 5: Be fair and fill out all of the necessary paperwork in order to not only have your house back to the way it was, but also to replace items that may have taken a hit. Don’t pussyfoot around ou pay a high price every month for insurance, and this is when you’re extremely glad you do. On the same note, don’t be greedy. Insurance brokers and companies will be fair but they will not re-do your house for nothing! Also, make sure that the restoration company involved has direct contact with the insurance company and knows exactly what they will and will NOT cover.
Step 6: Sit back and enjoy the fact that someone else is doing the work! For the minimum price of a deductible, you can have a new room, new basement or new floor! At least take heart in that and maybe consider a change of paint colour or flooring. Always wanted hardwood instead of carpet ? This may be the time to switch – the flooring company will find your previous floor cover and match the price & you only have to pay the difference.
Step 7: After the work has been completed, take a walk around and look at the quality of what has been done. If you are not 100% satisfied with the work, do not sign off on it. It is the restoration or construction company’s job to make things look good and do the job properly
Every claim process is a bit different, and every situation is unique. A minor flood is a stressful situations to have to go through, especially if you have personal items damaged in the process. Remember that all will be well again, with the help of your insurance broker, your restoration company and some patience!