Protect Your Property and Avoid Further Damage
Secure Your Home
It is important to secure your property and belongings following a loss. In addition to reviewing your policy documents for coverage information, you can make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Board up windows, weatherproof or tarp cover any openings in the roof or walls and remove any saturated ceiling insulation or water saturated carpet, to significantly reduce subsequent damage. Major damage may require contractor/engineer inspections. Make sure you keep an accurate record of your repair expenditures.
Protect Your Personal Property
- Separate items which may be cleaned and/or repaired.
- Keep an accurate record of your repair expenditures.
- Purchase a disposable camera and take plenty of pictures of your damaged property. The cost of the disposal camera and developing will be reimbursed.
- Check with your Claim Representative before you discard any items you plan to claim as damaged.
- Stabilize your house or structure.
- Payment for the expense beyond your normal living costs is available. You should review your policy for specific coverage limitations.
- Keep all receipts associated with any temporary housing, meals and other miscellaneous expenses.
Take Inventory of What You Have
We want to handle your claim as quickly as possible. You can help by making an inventory of your damages and any loss of personal property:
- The inventory should be room-by-room, giving complete descriptions of the damaged property.
- The description should include brand names, model numbers, age, purchase price and place of purchase and include any and all purchase receipts or invoices.
- For your future protection, it would be a good idea to make a detailed inventory of your personal belongings. A photographic record of items is helpful.
- Click here to download our Contents Inventory Form.
When Leaving Your House, Even for 48 Hours
- Make the house look occupied.
- Set timers on interior lamps and or exterior lighting.
- Make sure the mail, newspaper or other deliveries are picked up daily or held until you return.
- Turn off the water!
- Release the water pressure by opening a faucet for 10 seconds.
- Have someone check the house every few days. Have this party check the exterior for broken windows or any signs of forced entry.
- Have someone check the interior of the house for any leaking pipes, faucets or other damage.
- Provide your neighbors with your contact information in case of an emergency.
In the event you suffer a water loss, take immediate action!
- Report your claim immediately!
- Turn off the main water valve if necessary to prevent additional damage.
- Immediately remove as much water as possible by mopping, sweeping or wet/dry vacuuming.
- Wipe furniture dry and put the furniture on blocks to allow the base to dry.
- Remove wet area rugs or other loose floor coverings.
- Open furniture drawers, closet doors and luggage to enhance drying.
- Move photos, paintings and art objects to a safe dry location.
- Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible.
- Remove damp books from shelves and spread them out to dry.
- Contact a 24-hour water restoration service.
- Use ceilings or stationary fans to aide the drying process.
- Contact a qualified plumber if necessary.
- Lower the air conditioner temperature; as colder air helps remove the humidity.
Tips to Minimize the Risk of Mold
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York City Health Department, you can minimize the risk of mold by doing the following:
- Fix all water leaks
- Decrease mold growth by lowering the humidity within your house.
- Clean and dry any damp furnishings within 24 - 48 hours of contact with water.
- Clean all hard surfaces with bleach and water or detergent. Dry surfaces completely.
- Add fiberglass insulation on all cold surfaces (i.e. pipes, roof, walls and flooring) to prevent condensation or constant moisture.
- Do not install carpet or laminate floors in areas of your home that have perpetual moisture or condensation problems.
- When remodeling your home or constructing a new home, seek building products that help minimize the potential for condensation / moisture and mold growth with products such as MemBrain, a smart vapor retarder placed inside wall cavities.
When Lightning Strikes
Call and report the claim as soon as possible. Do not discard items until you speak with your claims representative. An expert may want to examine the items.
You may lose the right to collect for your damages if you replace an item and dispose of the old item prior to discussing it with your claims representative.
If any electrical or air conditioning is damaged or not working, you need to have a licensed electrician or air conditioner technician inspect the damage.
You can make emergency repairs to make your home livable and protect it from further damage. Ask the technician to leave behind the old parts for us to inspect.
Theft or Vandalism
- Call your local Police or Sheriff’s Department immediately.
- Assist the law enforcement officer in preparing a detailed report to include a list of the items taken.
- Contact your agent or AmCap Insurance to report the claim. Provide the Police / Sheriff Report number and officer’s name.
- Your claims representative will ask you for the date the loss occurred, a list of items taken and any damage to your home.
- Your claims representative will send you a Contents Inventory Form to fill out. List all items taken with the make, model, original cost and place of purchase. If the home was damaged, you should secure the home as soon as possible to prevent additional damage.
Smoke & Fire Damage
- Vacuum residence and loose soot from furniture, counter tops, appliances, porcelain fixtures, etc.
- Metal surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent tarnishing and/or pitting.
- Change all air filters in your air conditioner system.
- Do not attempt to wash or scrub walls or ceilings.
You are responsible for the repairs to your home. We ask that you make them as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
- We will pay to repair or replace your damaged property subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. Check with your agent or claim representative for complete details.
- The claim payment may include the name of your mortgage company. If it does, be sure to ask your mortgage company about their procedures for endorsing your claim payment.