First Steps Following a Flood- Get Organized.
Call your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible. You may need the following information:
- Name of your insurance company. You may be insured by more than one company.
- Policy number.
- A good phone number and email address where you can be reached. Due to loss of cell phone reception, which was experienced in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs this weekend, a landline is preferable.
After initiating your claim, ask when the adjuster can be expected at your property so you can make travel arrangements if your vehicle has been flooded.
Attorney Tip: Remember that the adjuster works for the insurance company. Their job is to help calculate the value of the damage to your possessions and property. They also work to estimate repair costs. These figures can vary greatly and you have a right to question and even fight their calculations. Document all communication and keep detailed records. While most insurance companies treat their insured fairly, some may not. In that case, Galloway Jefcoat, LLP will be happy to look into your claim.
Preparing for the Adjuster after a Louisiana Flood Claim
- Before you start assessing the damage, make sure your electricity and gas are off. Make sure your home is structurally safe to enter.
- Take pictures of your house before you begin cleaning or disposing of damaged items. Take photos of each room in your house.
- As you begin to remove damaged items, write down each one and take an individual picture. Note the brand name, model #, year purchased, and any other information that could be used to determine value.
- Cut swatches from damaged carpeting, furniture, curtains etc. to assist in determining damage value. Place the swatches in a plastic bag and label them with item name and former location in the building.
- During times of disaster, many flood victims are taken advantage of by dishonest and unqualified contractors. Contact only licensed home repair professionals when requesting estimates for professional cleaning and repair. These will be used in calculating your claim.
File the Proof of Loss Within 60 Days of the Flood
The Proof of Loss is a sworn statement containing the total dollar amount you are claiming along with supporting documents. The adjuster may assist you in completing this document but you should not sign it until you are satisfied with all of the details of the claim. It is your responsibility to make sure the form is received by your insurance company within 60 days.
Attorney Tip: Adjusters do not get paid until the Proof of Loss is signed. Do not be coerced into a quick settlement! Call a qualified attorney if you have issues with your claim.
For more common problems you may face when filing a claim after a flood in Louisiana, visit http://www.femainfo.us/flood_common_problems.shtml.