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Residential Damage Claims – Take Notes


Some homeowners who suffered damage and loss from Hurricane Maria are filing insurance claims without understanding how much information they need to submit, review, and keep track of. A notebook is perhaps the best tool during the claim process. The process of filing a residential damage claim to receiving a settlement amount can be confusing. You can use your notebook as a claims journal in which you can write down everything your adjuster or insurance company representative says every time you talk to them. Aside from keeping all your documentation and receipts on file, recording interactions is one of the most important steps in keeping a claims journal.

Here are some important things to write down in your journal:

  • Your claim number, as soon as the insurance agency provides one. Whenever you are in contact with them in the future, this number can be provided so that representatives can access your information quickly.
  • The names and contact information of every person you speak to. That way, you can refer to the individual by name if conflicting numbers or other details come into question, and you’ll be able to identify or call or email the person directly.
  • The date and time of any inspection, and what the adjuster finds, whether they agree with your concerns, or if they took enough time to be thorough.
  • Any information someone from the insurance company provides, including advice on making repairs, how to proceed, and who to contact.
  • The content of any conversation you have with a representative, for either your own reference later or when speaking to that person or another employed by the insurer.
  • All deadlines, agreement points, or disputes

    Be Organized

    Remember, the volume of notes during the insurance claims process can get quite large. A small one-subject notebook may not be a sufficient claims journal. Consider investing in a three-ring binder so you can organize your documents into sections. The notes you keep on conversations are just one part of the equation. There are many more assets to consider, including receipts, photographs, insurance documentation, and a copy of your policy. It’s common to deal with a few different claims handlers instead of only one, so staying organized is important.

    Thorough notes help keep track of the important details. If you’re not happy with the initial offer, don’t agree to a quick settlement in haste. You can appeal the decision and work with appraisers and lawyers for a better settlement. The notes you take will come in very handy in these situations.

    Notes Help You Stay on Top of the Game

    These notes also make it harder for the insurance company to get off easily. Insurers may try to limit their obligation to pay claims, encouraging policyholders to accept less than they deserve, or using delay tactics to frustrate the policyholder in hopes they will give up on their claim altogether. Don’t fall for this trap. Be vigilant in recording all interactions and details, and organized notes provide a way to make this easier, so you can be on top of the insurer’s actions every step of the way.


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