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Hurricane Harvey Loss: Filing Insurance Claims

Hurricane Harvey is projected to cause $5 billion to $10 billion in property damage in Texas, and that means tens of thousands of insurance claims.

Here are some Tips for those affected by Hurricane Harvey:

--Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the claim. Insurers typically visit the most severely damaged areas first, so be prepared to provide an accurate description of any damages. Make sure to get a claim number and write it down since it’s the quickest and easiest way for insurance companies to locate your file, according to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). Ask the company when you can expect to be contacted by an insurance adjuster. It could be anywhere from a week to five to six months, depending on the extent of the claim.

​--Document your losses with pictures and video, if possible, and include a list of damaged personal items. Include the date of purchase and approximate value of any damaged items and collect receipts.

--Keep good records of anything you spend to make immediate repairs to secure your home, as well as receipts for hotels and meals if you can’t return home right away.

--Check with your insurance company before discarding damaged items. You typically need to show them to your adjuster, but if your municipality requires you to discard them for safety reasons, take photographs to help with claims.

--Keep a claim diary. Start a notebook with contact information of the people you deal with from your insurance company. Make a list of everyone you speak to and note the date, time and issues discussed.

--Sign up for text alerts. Many insurance companies use SMS/text alerts to notify you of the status of your claim, III says. You’ll get messages when you first report your claim, when your estimate is available and when a payment has been sent.

--Do not start any repairs until you speak with your insurance company. Be aware of fraudulent and unlicensed individuals soliciting their services. Only trust professionals.

Source: USA Today

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