Tips for Filing Insurance Claims After Hurricane Sandy
Six tips to help you deal with the damage you may be facing.
While Governor Corbett says Pennsylvania "dodged a bullet," there is still a lot of damage in the area - trees down, some instances of flooding, and property damage.
Deborah L. Jacobs, personal finance writer for Forbes, offers some steps to take in evaluating and dealing with any damage:
1. Don't put yourself in harm's way to evaluate damage - don't go out on the roof or wade through water in your basement - call emergency services.
2. Contact your insurer - According to Jacobs, insurance companies had plenty of time to put systems in place for customers on insurance policies - a lot of times, information is available right on the website of your insurance provider.
3. Document your losses - Take photos and make notes to describe what happened, especially if lines are busy and you can't speak with an insurance representative right away. Also, the notes may be helpful if your insurance company dispute a loss.
4. Minimize damages - Namely, start to dry things out by spreading we items on paper towels, use box fans. If you lost power, keep your refrigerator door closed to minimize food loss.
5. Line up repairs - Your insurer may offer a referral for tree removal or other trades, or get names of tradesman from neighbors with similar problems - but don't let the nature of this damage impact your judgement when choosing a company - make sure to check licenses, and deal with a reputable service provider.
6. Keep Receipts - While many insurance companies don't require customers to show what was originally paid they want to know the resulting expenses. Keep a detailed record of all expenses, including hotel, transportation, meals and clothing expenses - but don't make it an excuse to splurge.