Having sufficient home insurance will go a long way in helping you get back on track after a fire, flood or other loss in your home. However, the steps you take – or don’t take – at the beginning of your claim can affect how smoothly the claim goes and whether you receive the full settlement that you are entitled to. If something were to happen in your home, do you know exactly what your first steps should be?
Here are five things you should do immediately after experiencing an incident in your property to help make the process smoother and get you back on track as quickly as possible.
1 – Tell your insurance company
Once the property and everybody inside is safe, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as it is possible to do so.
2 – Emergency safety works should be carried out
As the property owner, you have a responsibility to make sure the building is safe and to secure your property from further damage, either by weather (such as rain through a damaged roof) or through malicious damage (a burglar entering your property through a broken window or door, for example). Costs for using emergency contractors will be covered by your insurance, so keep receipts for any emergency works you need to have done.
3 – Find emergency alternative accommodation
If your home is deemed uninhabitable you will be entitled to alternative accommodation. Initially, you might need to stay in emergency temporary accommodation such as a hotel, but your home insurance policy will cover the cost for this. Your insurance company has a duty to fund accommodation for you, your family and any pets you may have. Sometimes an insurance company will arrange the alternative accommodation for you, but they may offer advance funding for you to put towards this instead. Please feel free to call us for advice about the accommodation options available to you as there are many to choose from.
4 – Leave your home as it is
It may be tempting to clear and tidy up your home, especially if there is a significant amount of dust or damage, but you should leave everything as it is once it is safe to do so. Moving or throwing out damaged furniture or debris could harm your insurance claim because you are removing the evidence. If a Loss Adjuster comes to visit your home during the insurance claim, they will need to see everything exactly as it is so that they can put together a complete assessment of the damage.
5 – Record the evidence
While it may not be a good idea to clean up, it is always a good idea to take photographs of your home as soon as possible. These can be used to back up your claim by acting as evidence of the damage endured. When you are ready, you should also start making a list of any furniture and other items of contents that have been damaged.
These are the first steps you should take in the initial days following your loss. Read more about the insurance claim process here, where we have outlined a simple step by step guide for homeowners.
If you would like help with your claim, Morgan Clark’s service provides guidance at every stage of the insurance claims process. Give us a call to speak to one of our experienced Loss Assessors and access free, no obligation advice.