1. Know How to Contact Your Insurance Agent or Company
- Keep your insurance policy number(s) and your insurance company phone number and email contact information in your phone.
- Understand Your Policy
- Be sure you understand your deductible and how to contact your insurance company to report a claim. Find out more in If Disaster Strikes will you be Covered? A homeowners Guide to Insurance available in English and Spanish.
- Document Your Property
- Create a home inventory of your belongings to help make the claims process efficient and swift. Do a walk-through of your home using a video camera or your phone to document all of your belongings. Record descriptions, including year, make, and model numbers.
- Take detailed photos or a video of the interior and exterior of your home including windows, garage doors, roof, pool cages, sheds, etc.
- Store Your Policy the Right Way
- Store the physical insurance policies, and other important papers such as deeds and property records in a safe place, such as a waterproof and fireproof box, safe, or bank deposit box.
- Scan or photograph copies of all documents. Keep a copy on a portable thumb drive or your phone and store digital copies on the cloud.
- Be Ready to File a Claim
- Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. Save receipts for what you spend (generators, tarps, sealants, etc.), and be ready to submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
- Be ready to preserve damaged items. Photograph and videotape all damage items both possessions and to the home.
- Have a process to keep receipts of any additional expenses incurred (e.g., hotel or restaurant expenses, or co-pays for hospital or clinic visits, insurance deductibles, cost of new glasses or wheelchair, if needed).