Flooding can be a very traumatic experience. Your family may be displaced, your personal items may be lost or damaged, and your home may be uninhabitable for many days, or weeks!
We have put together a small list of items to keep in mind when it comes to a flood loss.
If you have children put together a bag or emergency kit:
- Some clothing, diapers, formula, baby food, medications and their doctors names and any important medical documentation.
- Items to keep them entertained in case you are displaced. If your home floods you will be displaced. (i.e. toys, books. Small items are better so you don’t have to haul a lot of items
If you have pets:
- Make sure you have plenty of water, extra food, and of course some toys to keep them entertained (after all, they are kids too)
- Their shot records, tags, and leashes
If the flood event effects your home:
- You will want to begin doing anything you can to prevent further damage to your property ( This is stated in your Standard Flood Insurance policy)
- Contact a mitigation company as soon as possible to assist you with drying your home.
- Keep any receipts for your cleanup costs incurred.
- You may want to start a contents list of damaged contents you are going to claim. The list should include the name of the item, approximate age of the item and about what you paid for the item.
- Make sure you keep the contents somewhere where the adjuster can see and photograph them to document your loss. ( He must see the items in order to allow compensation for them)
- Write down the model and serial numbers for high cost items you will be claiming.
- If drywall is removed, leave a small piece where the adjuster may measure the “waterline” inside your home.
- If any flooring is removed, keep a piece for the adjuster to see the type and quality of flooring you had. (carpet, wood, etc.)
- Discuss with the claims adjuster any need you may have for an advance or partial payment for your loss.
- To assist the adjuster and also speed up your claims process, try to take photographs of the outside of the premises showing the flooding and the damage of the inside of the premises showing the height of water and the property damaged.
- Place all account books, financial records, receipts, and other loss verification material in a safe place for evaluation by the adjuster.
- Make sure that the claims adjuster fully explains, and that you fully understand, all the procedures for processing claim payments and the basis of your proof of loss.
- Contact your mortgage company, if you have one, as early as possible and advise them you have a flood claim pending. Inquire their processes and requirements for claims payment release. We are required to have the lender on all dwelling damage checks. Lenders have different ways of handling claims payments. Contacting your lender as early as possible will make you familiar with your particular lenders procedures and requirements.
There are so many things that go through your mind prior, during, and after a flood event. We hope this list helps ease some of the mental burden you may encounter.
Written by: Lazaro Herrada, Flood Claims Manager at Bankers Insurance Group