Now What? Steps to Take After a Home Casualty

Now What? Steps to Take After a Home Casualty

No one wants to think about a home casualty. But if an unexpected loss does occur—from a fire, theft, or burst pipe, for example—you’ll need to navigate the claims process efficiently to make sure you get the coverage you are owed. Depending on the severity of the loss, you may be displaced for some time, so you’ll want to be sure your policy includes loss of use coverage that pays for any additional housing costs.

What Do I Do After a Home Casualty?

Nothing is convenient about a home casualty. You feel as if your space is unsafe or violated, and there is a lot to do to get the insurance claim processed. Here’s what you need to do when dealing with a home casualty:

Assemble a Professional Team

The first person you’ll call during a claim will likely be your insurance agent. They will then help you get a remediation specialist if necessary and coordinate communication with a claims adjuster. Contact a reputable general contractor to give you an estimate on the repairs. Depending on the type of loss, you may also want to contact an attorney to see if you can pursue any legal recourse.

Gather the Necessary Documents

Ideally, you’ve already completed a home inventory and have a record of your items prior to the loss. You’ll want to compile a list (with photos) of everything that’s been damaged or destroyed. This includes furniture and home goods as well as structural losses such as fire damage to a wall. Gather any receipts or estimates that you can, to help the claims adjuster place a value on the loss. And keep the contractor’s estimate for repairs on hand, so you can provide it to the claims adjuster along with your inventory.

Don’t worry if collecting all the paperwork takes a few days or even a week. You have time to work with the adjuster to make sure you get your claim processed properly.

Double-Check the Details

Take the time to read through your insurance policy or have a lengthy conversation with your insurance agent to understand what is covered, how, and for how much. Review your inventory list and make sure you’ve included photos for everything that was damaged (unless you’ve experienced a theft, in which case this might not be possible). When you get the itemized report from your claims adjuster, make sure the valuation of each item checks out—you don’t want to be undercut. Lastly, be sure to ask any questions or raise any and all concerns as you have them.

Save Your Receipts

If you do have to pay for things out of pocket while waiting for the claim to be processed, be sure to keep all your receipts. You may have hotel or dining costs you’ve incurred while displaced from your home. However, as much as possible, try not to spend without discussing it with your claims adjuster. You don’t want to spend money that isn’t covered by the insurance policy.

Flood damage to a home

What Are My Temporary Housing Options?

If you find yourself displaced while the claim is being processed and your home is being repaired, you’ll need temporary lodging. Most people will have loss of use coverage from their insurance carrier, which provides an allowance for these types of expenses. Talk to your insurance agent about how much is covered.

If you don’t have insurance, you may need to seek government assistance or find help from a nonprofit such as the Red Cross. Start the process of getting help immediately, so you aren’t stuck without a place to stay for any point during the home casualty experience.

Hotels vs. Corporate Housing

If you are forced to find temporary housing, you have the option of a hotel, rental, or corporate housing. Different types of temporary housing will have different advantages and disadvantages. Hotels are a great stress-free solution for a short-term stay, while rentals and corporate housing are ideal for longer claims, where you might want to get back to a home routine again.

When you do find temporary housing and need to get your place furnished, think about renting your furniture from Brook. You’ll be able to get comfortable and stylish pieces that will likely be covered by your loss of use insurance.

Bottom Line

There’s nothing fun or easy about dealing with a home casualty. But staying organized and asking lots of questions will ensure you get the claim dealt with as quickly as possible. And remember: Brook Furniture Rental is here to help with your temporary needs, from furniture to housewares. When you rent with Brook, we’ll do all the heavy lifting and work with your insurance carrier if your rental is covered by your loss of use coverage.

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