Living in a hurricane or flood-prone area can be daunting, especially when considering all the potential risks. When a storm or other major weather event hits, it can cause significant damage to homes and businesses. If you are one of the many people who suffer damage, it is essential to document the extent of the damage as soon as possible. Unfortunately, one of the vital things that homeowners underestimate is the need to prove damage from a hurricane or flooding should it occur. Fortunately, Neptune Flood can help you with that process, making it easier to get the insurance coverage you need. Here are five tips on how to document damage from a hurricane or flooding:
1. Take Pictures and Videos of the Damage
If you are a homeowner and have recently experienced damage from a hurricane or flooding, it is essential to document the damage as thoroughly as possible as long as it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, many people don’t know that they should immediately take pictures and videos. Despite the overwhelming and heartbreaking situation, it is paramount to gather some energy and walk around to document your losses entirely.
The best way to document the damage is by taking pictures and videos of any destroyed property. This includes inside and outside the house. Try to have multiple angles if you can. It’s also a good idea to take pictures or video before and after cleaning up some of the mess, just so your insurance company understands what happened during the natural disaster. Be sure to keep all documentation safe in case you need it later.
2. Get Serial Numbers and Make a List of Damaged Items
If safe to do so, we suggest listing the serial numbers and makes/models of any damaged items. Moreover, listing the value of each item can help determine how much compensation your property is worth. Furthermore, homeowners should always keep receipts for high-value items that may need replacement due to damage from flooding or hurricanes. Remember that accurate documentation can help you get the most from your insurance claim. Having a piece of detailed information about each item will also help prevent identity theft and fraud.
3. Keep Damaged Items if Possible
Whenever possible, homeowners should any damaged items along with photographs and videos. This could come in handy if you need to prove that the damage was done during a hurricane or flood and not something else. Also, this type of documentation can help with insurance claims and any potential litigation. It is a good idea to keep these items in a safe place, such as your attic or another storage area elsewhere until the insurance completes the compensation process.
Some list of samples you can keep may include but not limited to:
- Textiles (carpet, clothes, bedding)
- Drywall samples
- Wood flooring or other flooring material samples
- Costly plastic or leisure valuables such as toys
- High-end appliances
4. Document One Room to Completion Before Going to the Next Scene
It is crucial to make sure that you finish documenting one room before moving on to another. This can help ensure that your insurance company has all the information it needs for each area of your home and does not miss anything. Otherwise, skipping to document a vital damaged scene due to oversight can lead to denying your claim.
5. File Your Insurance Claim
If a hurricane or flooding has damaged your home, you will need to file an insurance claim. We recommend that homeowners take notes during the process to document everything correctly, and nothing gets missed or left out by accident. Once all the evidence is reviewed and approved, which can involve a visit to your premises by an adjuster, you can get compensation for your property and start your new life after the hurricane or flood damage.
Why You Should Document Damage from a Hurricane or Flooding
The following are the critical reasons you should consistently and accurately document your damages promptly:
1. To Receive the Full Insurance Claim Payout
When you file a claim after a hurricane or flooding, it is vital to have all the necessary information and documentation in order. By having detailed records of everything that was damaged in the storm, you can reduce any disputes and make sure you get the money you need to rebuild.
2. To Speed Up the Recovery Process
It can take a long time to rebuild after such damages. Luckily, having all of your documentation can speed up the process by providing your insurance company with everything they need. This will help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible and start repairing the damage done.
3. Recover Your Costly Valuables
Some of your possessions may be priceless and irreplaceable, such as family heirlooms, appliances, or rare collectibles. If these items are damaged in a hurricane or flood, it is essential to have proof of the damage so you can file a claim and get them repaired or replaced. Without this documentation, you may not recover the total cost of repairing or replacing these valuable items.
4. To Prove the Extent of the Damage to Your Home
If you are trying to get government assistance for rebuilding your home, it is essential to have detailed documentation of the damage done. This will help prove that your home was destroyed in a natural disaster and that you require assistance. By having accurate records of the damage, you can ensure you receive all the help you invested in.
5. To Avoid Fraud
Unfortunately, people always try to take advantage of natural disasters by filing fraudulent insurance claims. However, if you have accurate documentation of the damage done to your home and possessions, it will be much more difficult for these individuals to get away with this type of fraud. Having all of the necessary records can help protect yourself from being taken advantage of and make sure that any fraudulent claims are quickly identified and dealt with.
If you have suffered damage as a result of a hurricane or any other recent natural disaster, it is essential to document that damage as accurately as possible. This information will be critical in filing your insurance claim and receiving the compensation you deserve. Contact Neptune Flood today for assistance in documenting the damage to your property and getting started on the claims process. We are here to help you rebuild after this devastating event.