When disaster strikes, it is up to the policyholder not only to prove that a loss occurred, but also intricately document the full extent of that loss. This can encompass everything from physical damage, to any additional expenses that might be incurred or even loss of business while recovering from the disaster.
When you list your losses, each item will need to be complete and itemized with all applicable information such as descriptions, actual cash value (ACV) and its current replacement value (CRV). Equally important is the depreciation that must be assessed on each item, even if your particular policy includes guaranteed replacement.
Since this is the only information that they will have in order to base their decision on, the information supplied to the insurance company must be as detailed and specific as possible. The more information, video and photos that you can provide, the more you will help your case. Even when a tremendous amount of detail and information is given, it cannot guarantee that your claim will be paid to your satisfaction.
Once all of your information has been compiled, it is time to submit a claim. This avalanche of paperwork can include such forms as: “Loan Receipts”, “Sworn Statements in Proof of Loss”, “Salvage Agreements”, “Hold Harmless Agreements”, “Notice of Loss”, “Additional Living Expenses Sheet”, “Combination Business Interruption Work Sheets”, “Subrogation Forms”, “Non-Waiver Agreements”, an entire category of “Releases” and the list goes on and on. Your specific claim will determine which combination of forms will be required.
During the submission process, it is important to look over your insurance policy to determine if your coverage will protect your losses. If it is determined that your loss is covered by your policy, then your public adjuster will immediately contact the insurance company to set up a time to meet with their claims adjuster. This meeting will serve as the time to go over the extent of the damages.
Your public adjuster will then prepare a claim report and a physical personal property inventory on the appropriate claims forms. If any additional forms are required, they will also be completed and submitted by the public adjuster. These can cover such topics as loss of rent, additional living expenses, and business income claims, among others.
Once all of the applicable paperwork has been completed, they are forwarded to the insurance company along with claim estimates. It is at this time that the insurance company’s representative will begin to evaluate all of the documentation in order to make their decision.