The Complete Fire & Flood Insurance Claims Checklist
Make sure you bookmark this page on your phone, so you can reference our Fire & Flood Insurance Claims Checklist quickly when disaster strikes.
If you’ve experienced damages to your property due to a flood or fire, hiring a claims professional to represent you can be one of the smartest decisions you’ve ever made.
Now that you have a professional representing you, what are the next steps in the insurance claims process?
Here is a complete breakdown of our fire and flood insurance claims checklist, we can handle the following or you can if you have not retained us yet. Please note that such is not necessarily in order by time line:
- One of the first steps is the review your insurance policy. This can be obtained directly from the agent. We will request it from him or her or better yet the insurance company. You want to get a certified copy.
- Your Mortgage company needs to be placed on notice also; inform them about what has taken place and request the paperwork concerning your property and the procedures following your loss.
- If your home or business was completely destroyed by the fire or flood, request a payoff letter from your mortgage company and / or an up to date accounting.
- Always remember that your public adjuster is there to represent you, so have him/her fax the contract to your insurance company. We of course will do so and most likely email it also.
- Board up any existing structures, which haven’t been destroyed by the fire or flood. People may see the vacant property and want to cause more damage than has already been done. Also, board up all access points such as doors and windows because individuals who are homeless may want to use the property to sleep or even live. After boarding up the property, advise your insurance company when done in writing.
- Advise your insurance company adjuster to meet with your public adjuster at the loss site and make sure the invitation is in writing. This will insure that they are on the same terms concerning the damage so that there are no discrepancies in the claims process.
- Make sure to request a repair packet from your mortgage company.
- It is a wise investment to contact an electrician to check out the electrical circuits in your property to ensure no further damage can be caused due to electrical issues.
- Contact a heating contractor and get heat turned on at the property. Please have the gas lines checked before continuing to heat the property. Check all electrical also.
- Winterize the building if utilizes are not functional.
- A plumber should also be contacted to ensure water sources are functional and these pipelines should be boarded up especially during winter season.
- Hire an emergency inventory specialist before pack out, because they will ensure all your lost items are properly documented. Your public adjuster will do this.
- You should assist the pack out company in taking only items that are salvageable and are determined as cleanable. Items that are totally destroyed should stay at the site. Again, this should be left to the experts – your public adjuster at Harris Claims Services.
- After your property is properly boarded up make sure to submit the bill to the insurance company for reimbursement.
- Any clothes that have been deemed to be usable should be sent to the drycleaners. You should also get a price from the drycleaners before taking the clothes into them.
- Photos should be taken before and after pack out, room by room.
- Your inventory list should be submitted to the insurance agency. You should separate items into usable and non-usable items.
- You shouldn’t sign a direct pay contract with a pack out company until your contents claim develops. Do NOT sign direct pay for insurance company vendors.
- Before hiring a pack out company you should request pricing. Ask your Public Adjuster for advice on this and all these matters.
- Make sure to check warranties for all your equipment within the home or business. This includes electric equipment, computer equipment, cabinets, carpet, fixtures, appliances, goods, etc.
- Test clean electronics, computers, cabinets, carpets, fixtures, appliances, and hard goods for possible salvage. You should contact the manufacturer and get the cost of these items before this is done.
- If your property is completely destroyed due to flood or fire damage, you should get a demolition bid.
- Get a written estimate from a cleaning company before any cleaning takes place.
- Do not sign a contract with a contractor until you get confirmation from your public adjuster.
- You can request a cash advance from your insurance company, but make sure you document this properly.
- You can set-up a temporary living arrangement by informing your insurance company and having them agree to it. Also, you can set up direct pay and have them pay for it.
- If you need furniture, you can rent it and have the insurance company agree to the amount.
- If you have to rebuild your property, get approval and documentation from the mortgage company. The repair package.
- Since you’ve been paying your mortgage on time, have the mortgage company write up a document saying so. You should continue to make your mortgage payments as usual.
- Send letter to local code enforcement and cc: a copy to the insurance company regarding the progress of the claim. This should be done within the first week to avoid demolition hearings.
- Make sure your yard is clean of debris.
- Keep track of all your spending.
This is a comprehensive checklist of things to consider when filing your fire or flood insurance claim. Following this fire & flood insurance claims checklist will insure you have a solid understanding of what to do during this time. Also, a solid foundation on to rebuild your property and get your life back to normal.
At Harris Claims Services, we’ve been helping families and businesses for decades in fire and flood damage industry. We honor our clients and take on the task of dealing with the insurance companies directly through every stage of the process. We provide all the necessary personnel, who are highly trained and certified, and ensure a safe & steady recovery.
We have had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for over 20 years now, plus we have been awarded their Complaint Free certification. We are licensed, bonded, and insured in the state of Illinois.
Put your mind at ease and call Jason Harris at 847-329-8444. We fight for you, NOT the insurance company!