No matter how prepared your clients are, preparation can go out the window when a catastrophic event occurs. Immediately following a catastrophe, staying calm and knowing what to do next can be difficult for everyone affected. As an insurance agent, you can guide your clients through this trying time by anticipating their needs. Here’s what your clients need from you following a catastrophic event.
How You Can Help Clients Immediately Following a Catastrophic Event
If your client contacts you immediately following a catastrophic event, there are positive steps they should take to recover from a loss. Ultimately, safety and swift recovery are the highest priorities for both you as an agent and your client.
Following a catastrophic event, the first thing your client should do is ensure everyone in the household is safe and doesn’t require any immediate medical care. If necessary, your client should alert the appropriate authorities of the situation. Once it is determined that everyone is safe, your client should evaluate their property and make reasonable, temporary repairs to secure their home from further damage. Taking inventory of any valuable household items and photographing the home for verification can make the recovery process much easier for everyone involved.
Send the Necessary Claim Forms
After a catastrophic event, your clients should focus on filing any necessary claim forms. Typically, clients should be able to file a claim electronically or via phone. To complete their claim report, your clients will need the following information:
– Policy Number
– Date of Losses
– Contact Numbers
– Secondary Contact Information
Your clients may need assistance determining whether or not there is a time limit on filing a claim, but in any situation, claims should be filed as soon as possible. Your clients should notify you in writing of any damages or losses sustained during the event, making sure to be detailed. As an agent, once your client has made a claim, you should send the necessary claim forms right away.
Send an Adjuster to Inspect the Client’s Home or Property
Once the necessary claim forms have been sent and filled out, an adjuster should be sent to your client’s home to assess the damage. It’s important for your client to make a list of any structural damage their home incurred to show to the adjuster. It may be helpful to advise your client to save any receipts of what they have spent to repair damages and submit them to the insurance company. Advise your clients to keep all damaged items until the adjuster can visit their home.
Agree on the Terms of Settlement
Once the above steps have been addressed and the adjuster has thoroughly inspected the client’s home, a settlement can be reached. After a settlement has been reached, payment should be promptly sent to the client.
As an insurance agent, your clients rely on your after a catastrophic event. By understanding the need of your clients, you can make the recovery process as easy as possible.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling, fire, and flood insurance in over half the country, with plans to cover the rest by 2017. Find out more at americanstrategic.com.