The Homeowners 3 Special Form is the base policy for many carriers. Your homeowners insurance policy contains a section called “Duties After Loss”. It is there to help you understand your responsibilities when your property has sustained a loss of some sort.
In most Insurance policies these are your duties in the process after loss:
- Give prompt notice to your insurance company or agent.
- Notify the police in case of loss by theft.
- Notify the credit card or electronic fund transfer card or access device company in case of loss having to do with credit cards, etc.
- Protect the property from further damage. If repairs to the property are required, you must:
- Make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property.
- Keep an accurate record of repair expenses.
- Cooperate with the insurance carrier in the investigation of the claim.
- Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing the quantity, description, actual cash value, and amount of loss. Attach all bills, receipts, and related documents that justify the figures in the inventory.
- As often as they reasonably require:
- Show the damaged property.
- Provide them with records and documents they request and permit them to make copies.
- Submit to examination under oath, while not in the presence of another “insured”, and sign the same.
- Send to them, within 60 days (or some other stated time) after their request, your signed, sworn proof of loss which sets forth, to the best of your knowledge and belief:
- The time and cause of loss.
- The interests of all “insureds” and all others in the property involved and all liens on the property.
- Other insurance which may cover the loss.
- Changes in title or occupancy of the property during the term of the policy.
- Specifications of damaged buildings and detailed repair estimates.
- The inventory of damaged personal property described in #6 above.
- Receipts for additional living expenses incurred and records that support the fair rental value loss.
- Evidence or affidavit that supports a claim of Credit Card, Electronic Fund Transfer Card Or Access Device, Forgery And Counterfeit Money under Section I – Property Coverages, stating the amount and cause of loss.
Because it is near impossible to remember everything you have and be able to list it and give a description of it, here are a couple of helpful inventory tips to keep you prepared for that time of need:
- Once or even twice a year, video tape all furnishings and personal belongings in your home and outbuildings, opening cupboards, closets, etc. Think of this as your little reminder of all that you had.
- Prepare an inventory list with serial numbers and describe clearly, what brand, type, etc. they are. You might even want to take photos of each piece separately. If you have personal property that is scheduled, you will want to make sure to include them.