1. Report your loss to your insurance company as quickly as you can. Have your policy number and information about the damage involved handy. Jot down the claim adjuster's name and phone number.
2. Contact local government officials to determine whether your house is safe enough to enter. Report downed power lines or gas leaks to your utility company. Keep electricity off if your house has been flooded.
3. Board up windows and salvage undamaged items. Ask your insurance company what they will pay for when it comes to protecting your belongings.
4. Make a written list of damaged items and videotape or photograph them, but don’t dispose of them until the insurance adjuster has examined them. Gather together any available receipts for the items.
5. Keep all receipts for hotel rooms, meals, and any clothing or personal items purchased while your house is being repaired or rebuilt.
6. Complete and return your claim forms before the deadline.
7. The check for repairs to your home is usually made out to both you and your mortgage lender. Contact your lender to discuss the contractor bids and details of the repair process.
These are just a few of the many, hard-earned experiences that homeowners have faced. Be sure to obtain renter's insurance to protect your personal belongings.