The Association of California Insurance Companies is offering the following tips for victims of the recent California storms:
* Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to report your loss. It will be helpful to have the following information when you place the call: (1) the name of your insurance company (2) the policy number; and (3) a telephone number/e-mail address where you can be reached.
* Take photos. An insurance adjuster will need to see what’s been damaged to process the claim. Take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property.
* Separate damaged items from undamaged items. Protect undamaged items from further damage, and, if necessary, place items outside the home.
* If disposal of damaged items is necessary, keep a sample. If you must dispose of items, please keep a swatch or other sample of the damage (i.e.: cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs) for the adjuster.
* Make a list of damaged or lost items and include the age and value where possible. If possible, have receipts for those items available for the adjuster.
* Work with the adjuster. The adjuster will work with you to calculate the value of the damage sustained and prepare a repair estimate.
* Provide any damage estimates prepared by a contractor(s) to the adjuster since they will be considered in the preparation of your repair estimate.
There are certain things individuals can do to minimize the damage:
* Shovel or scrape the mud off your floors, furniture and walls before the mud dries. Then hose down the walls with clean water, starting from the ceiling.
* Major appliances, such as refrigerators and stoves, can be washed and dried completely. In most cases, they will not be damaged unless they were operating at the time the water covered them.
* Diluted chlorine bleach can be used to clean household items, appliances, walls and floors. This also will help control odors.
* Wood furniture should be dried outdoors, but not in direct sunlight. Remove drawers and other moving parts before they dry.
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