Property Damage: 13 Questions for Your Agent

These are some questions to ask your insurance agent to confirm what you already know or help you understand what you are covered for.

Each time you call, note the following:

  • The day and date you called
  • The phone number and extension (If you’re transferred to someone else, ask for that person’s extension before the hand-off.)
  • The name and title of the person you spoke with along with an email address
  • The expected outcome or next step and projected completion date
  • The person responsible for each task
  • The time and date of the next meeting or phone call

The Process and Policy Questions

WHN TIP – Get a List: Ask your insurance agent to provide a list of exactly what is/is not covered in the recovery and re-building process.

  1. What is the claim number for this incident?
  2. What is included under my policy:
    • Temporary living expenses?
    • Replacement of essential personal items?
    • Rental vehicle costs (if necessary)?
    • Oher expenses and costs
  3. What is the date by which I need to provide the list of living expenses/immediate replacement items?
  4. Does someone from the insurance agency (or a governmental agency) need to accompany me during the initial walk-through of structure/review of the home and vehicle(s)?
  5. What is the approximate date and time for the initial walk-through?
  6. Who is coming from the insurance agency to handle the walk-through?
  7. What should I tell my mortgage company?

The Damage Questions

WHN TIP – Don’t Toss It! All items should be inventoried and no item should be thrown away without the approval of the insurance company.

  1. What information do I need to document the damage?
    For all items, be sure you include at least:

    • Make, model, serial number
    • Date purchased
    • Purchase cost
    • Description of damage
    • Location in home
  2. What is the time limitation on filing claims:
      • For the structure
      • For my possessions
      • Other losses
  3. When can I move my car for safe-keeping and insurance purposes?
  4. When I file the claim, will the insurance company need any information from any local, state or national agencies?
    _____Yes. What type of information?
  5. How is damage to my car covered:
    Under the homeowner’s policy?
    Under the vehicle policy?
  6. When do I need to submit a formal statement of loss? (The statement is usually submitted within a stated time period, usually 30 – 90 days.)

About a Statement of Loss

A  statement of loss  usually includes:

  • The time and cause of loss
  • The names and addresses of those who have an interest in the property (These
    might include the mortgage holder, a separated or divorced spouse or a lien
  • Building plans and specifications of the original home and a detailed estimate
    for repairs
  • The damage inventory mentioned above
  • Receipts for additional living expenses and loss of use claims