The First Steps to Take After a Disaster Has Occurred


It’s hard to know the first steps to take after a disaster has occurred. When it comes to insurance claims, the process can feel like an overwhelming task on top of everything else you need to do. However, homeowners can take the following steps to make this process smooth and simple.

1. Get started right away!

With a lot on your plate, it might be tempting to put this task off for a later date. Don’t do it. Contact your insurance agent right away to start the claims process. Provide a description of the damage to your property, and a company representative will walk you through any necessary documentation. If you have a home inventory, provide this to the representative.

Once you start the claims process, your carrier will arrange an inspection of damages. Provide your contact information – such as where you can be reached – since disasters often change your coordinates.

2. Get the details

As the representative helps you through the process, gain a clear understanding of what is expected. Find out:

  • If the disaster damage is covered under your policy
  • How long the claims process will take
  • What they need from you (estimates for repairs, receipts for belongings)

3. Get more details

If your policy offers coverage for the disaster damage, review your declarations page with your agent or company representative and gain a clear understanding of what is actually covered, including structural damage, loss of personal belongings, and liability payments. Then you can move forward with decisions on repairs and reimbursements.