When vandals or thieves willfully damage your property and steal your possessions, putting your life back in order can be a large undertaking. It can be a tremendous burden for a person who has just experienced such a trauma to prepare and document all of the details necessary to pursue the subsequent insurance claim. We at Keys Claims Consultants, Inc. stand ready to assist you with the process.
Notification: Before the scene is disturbed, file a police report. Without delay, notify your insurance agent or carrier of the loss.
Documentation: As police collect evidence, numerous photographs of all aspects of the damage should be taken and copies retained by the property owner. This photo record needs to include damage to the structure, personal or business property, and any damage resulting from the police investigation itself. Begin making a list of any missing items.
Loss mitigation: Temporary repairs should be done that are sufficient to prevent further damage. The property must be secured and all damage preserved so that the insurance company may make a full inspection of the loss. It is important that damaged items not be thrown away until the claim is settled..
Policy Compliance: It is imperative that policyholders become fully informed as to both the requirements and the benefits that are outlined in their policy. For example:
• A Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss may need to be filed within a stated timeframe.
• The insurance company may have the right to replace missing items rather than issue a settlement check to the insured.
• Receipts or verification of ownership for missing property may need to be produced if available.
Valuation and Negotiation: It is quite a chore to determine and document the value for missing and damaged items following a theft with vandalism. It stands to reason your insurance company will be able to respond best to a detailed, well-documented and professionally presented outline of your damages.