You just had a property loss – What do you do?

By Jim Pittz, CPIA

If a loss occurs, do you know what to do?

When a person suffers a property loss, whether it is by theft, fire, damage to personal property or other causes it is usually a traumatic time. The last thing you want to do is to have to think about “what do I have to do”?

In order to help you out, I have taken care of that for you. Attached is a form, a checklist, of those things you need to do if you,  in fact,  suffer a property loss. 

Property Loss Checklist

Contact your local agent

  • Keep a timeline of pertinent events
  • If a crime was committed notify law enforcement
  • Obtain copies of police / fire dept. report, if applicable.
  • Obtain identification of all emergency personnel that assisted
  • Record and Photograph the damage (photograph from different angles).
  • Record an inventory list of all damaged/stolen property
  • Keep all damaged parts/property
  • Document all conversations relating to loss (when , who, what)
  • Take steps to prevent further damage property (remember to keep copies of receipts for expenses)
  • Secure location if uninhabitable
  • Stop deliveries of newspapers, mail, cable
  • Obtain repair estimates
  • Obtain copy of adjusters report
  • If power is out, have water turned off (winter months)eliminate pipe freezing exposure
  • ensure all appliances / electronics are unplugged (avoid power surge when power comes back)
  • Make copies of all correspondence
  • Make copies of all claim checks
  • If property uninhabitable, and need to reside elsewhere:
  • Keep receipts of
    • Food expenses
    • Travel expenses (additional mileage as a result of loss)
    • Utility expenses
    • Clothing expenses
    • Room and board expenses
    • Storage expenses if property needs to be moved and stored

A loss is traumatic enough, no sense making it harder than it already is.

Hopefully this will help.

Jim Pittz, CPIA
Business Issues Director
Professional Insurance Agents
25 Chamberlain St.
PO Box 997
Glenmont, NY 12077
Phone: (800) 424-4244
Fax: (888) 225-6935