Jul 2, 2012 12:09 PM by Kirsten Bennett
The Colorado Division of Insurance has released the following tips for insurance claims amid the Waldo Canyon Fire.
What to do when your property -- auto, home or other insured building -- is damaged by wildfires, severe weather and other disasters
•Call your insurance company or agent as soon as possible.
•Remember that others in your community will also be contacting their insurance companies. Be patient, but persistent: you may get a busy signal at first, as many claimants are trying to get help all at the same time.
•To help the claim process move smoothly, have your policy number ready, if you have it available. Ask your insurance agent what information is needed to file a claim.
•Take photographs and video of the damage, before everything is cleaned up or repaired.
•If you can do so safely, make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property by covering broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls. Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs, unless your insurance company directs you to do so. If going back into the area could be dangerous, don't do it.
•Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your insurance policy. Plastic tarps or sheeting used to protect broken windows and damaged buildings from additional exposure to elements are usually covered by your homeowners policy.
•If your home is damaged to the extent that you cannot live there, you may have coverage for additional living expenses while repairs are being made. This is true for most standard homeowners policies.
•If you cannot stay in your home, save all receipts, including hotel stays, reasonable meals and any necessities that you must buy. Not everything may be covered, but without receipts, you may be out of luck.
•You may be contacted by a public adjuster to help you work through your insurance claims. Be sure to read this fact sheet on public adjusters before you sign or agree to any contracts!
For more tips from the Colorado Division of Insurance, CLICK HERE.
» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.