WHAT TO DO AFTER A LOSS TO YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS:
1. Call your insurance company or agent to report a claim.
Note: If you have minor damage you might want to call your agent to discuss. You may want to get a contractor to write up an estimate for the repairs to determine if the cost will exceed your deductible. If it doesn't exceed your deductible then filing a claim would not be in your best interest.
2. Vacate the property if it is not structurally sound. Protect property from further damage by arranging for reasonable temporary repairs as soon as possible.
• if windows are broken, have them boarded up to protect your home and property against vandalism or weather damage,
• if the roof has an opening, have it tarped and covered,
• if water needs to be extracted, have a water restoration company extract surface water.
Keep an accurate record of all temporary repair expenses (e.g. bills and/or material receipts) for possible reimbursement.
Please do not make any permanent repairs until the insurance adjuster has had a chance to review the damage and you agree with the settlement. We understand you want to rebuild as soon as possible, but the adjuster will need time to inspect and submit a report for your review.
Document the damage by taking pictures, and keeping receipts. If you have contents affected make a written list of what was damaged.
To be as accurate as possible, please include :
• brand name,
• serial numbers,
• date of purchase and
• replacement value
We recommend beginning this process by dividing your list into room location (e.g. living room, bedroom #1, bedroom #2, etc.).
If available, photographs, videotapes or personal property inventories are valuable resources during the itemization process. There is an inventory form located on our website to help you. Separate damage and undamaged property. In order to complete a full assessment of the loss, your claims adjuster will need to inspect all damaged property. If possible, place damaged items in a secure area where they can be inspected.
3. If your house is not livable, get a hotel room and keep all receipts including food receipts.
Note: insurance companies view not livable as there is no running water, no access to your kitchen or a bathroom/shower in the house.
An adjuster will determine if other living arrangements are required.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT:
We hope you never have an auto accident but the number of minor accidents are on the rise due to texting and driving so if you are involved in an auto accident, here are some reminders:
1. Know What Your Insurance Covers. The whole process will be easier if you know what your coverage is before anything happens.
Contact us if you would like to discuss and review your coverage and deductibles. In our opinion, the most important coverage on your auto insurance policy is third party bodily injury liability and property damage coverage because these damages are unknown and can be unexpectedly high if someone is severely injured or there are multiple vehicles involved. To help manage your risk, you will want higher liability coverage limits than what the state requires. Third party bodily injury liability coverage pays for someone else's bodily injuries such as medical payments, hospitalization, emergency services, life support, etc. if you cause an accident. Third party property damage coverage pays for someone's vehicle or vehicles and/or building that may have been damaged by you.
2. Determine if you are okay and that you or your vehicle are not in imminent danger of becoming struck by any vehicles or objects.
If necessary, move your vehicle to a safe place, if you can safely do so. Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights.
3. Call 911 if necessary. Check if anyone has been injured and be able to describe the location of the accident, what vehicles are involved and whether the accident is blocking the flow of traffic but mostly importantly, report severe injuries first.
4. Avoid moving seriously injured people. Under Texas Law, reasonable assistance must be given to injured people including arrangements for transportation to medical assistance if necessary. However, do not move anyone whom you suspect may have a serious injury to avoid further injury.
5. File An Accident Report. Contact the police. They will let you know if an officer needs to be present. If an officer does not come out, you should file a crash report at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/drivers_vehicles/crash_records/reports.htm to help document the accident.
6. Exchange Information with all parties.
•Name of the other drivers
•Take a picture of the license and/or insurance card with your camera phone
7. Take a picture of the scene with your camera phone or draw a sketch. Take a picture of the damage to other's vehicle(s).
8. Get witnesses contact information (name, address, phone number, email number, etc.). This reminder is very very important as sometimes the other party changes their story and having witnesses provides an unbiased third party statement that could help you.
9. Call your insurance agent or carrier to get assistance and report your claim.
10. Call a towing company to move your vehicle if disabled to your body shop.
Call a rental car company like Enterprise 1-800-261-7331 for a rental car if you need one. Enterprise will pick you at your location and take you back to the rental car company if necessary.
If you get into an auto accident, it will help if you have the following items on hand. Make sure to always have these in your vehicle:
• Insurance ID card and vehicle registration
• List of emergency contacts
• Medical card listing allergies to any medication, or special conditions
• Pens or pencils
• Note pad
• First-aid kit
• Jumper cables
• Rags or paper towels
• Trash bags
• Cell phone
If you are prepared, and you know what to do in an accident, it will be easier to remain calm.