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A Step-By-Step Guide To What To Do In Case Of A Loss To Your Home


Step 1. Stay as calm as possible.

Step 2. If your loss is due to burglary, theft, or vandalism, report it to the police immediately.

Step 3. Photograph or videotape the damaged property, if any. Do this BEFORE making any repairs.

Step 4. Protect your property from further damage by making temporary repairs, moving items, or covering them. DON'T make any permanent repairs at this time. Keep receipts for what you spend so that you can submit them for reimbursement with the claim.

Step 5. The damage:

  • If the damage makes your home uninhabitable, save receipts for any additional living expenses you incur while repairs are being made. Most policies reimburse these expenses to some extent.
  • Prepare a list of the lost or damaged articles and/or a description of the damage to your home. Use your Household Inventory if you've completed one. Don't throw out any damaged property until the adjuster has seen it.

Step 6. Decide whether to report the loss, and if so, report it. File your claim as soon as possible after receiving your claim forms from the insurance company.

If applicable, an adjuster -- provided by the insurance company -- will need to inspect the damage to your home. If your claim is large enough, consider hiring your own public adjuster.

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