Disaster survivors might wonder what to do with their property after a disaster event occurs. An insurance holder might want to read through their policy to learn what kind of duties they have to comply with to file an insurance claim post-loss. Most policies contain this list of duties but the duties generally include:
- Giving the insurer notice of the loss;
- Notifying the police in the case of loss by theft;
- Protecting the property from further loss;
- Preparing an inventory of damaged personal property showing its quantity, description, and actual cash value; and;
- Submitting a signed, sworn proof of loss.
The policyholder may be required as reasonable to show proof of the damaged property (i.e. photos, video), provide requested records and documents, and permit copies of documents to be made.
A homeowner should take reasonable steps to protect their property from further damage after they assess damages. Save receipts for what is spent and submit the receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. Payments for temporary repairs may also be part of the total settlement. Extensive permanent repairs should not be made until the claims adjuster assesses the damage.
Owners of property such as homes have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect the home from damage. An insurance company does not generally cover damage due to lack of maintenance, mold, or infestation from termites or other pests.