Most property owners are unaware that they are contractually obligated to do certain things in the event of an insurance loss. These responsibilities are listed right there in your policy.

Failure to do them can nullify a covered peril claim in part or whole. As a policyholder, you MUST see the following are done in the event of loss of or damage to Covered Property:

1. Notify police if a law may have been broken.

2. Give insurance carrier prompt notice of the loss or damage.

a. Include a description of the property involved.

3. As soon as possible, give a description of how, when and where the loss or damage occurred.

4.Take all reasonable steps to protect the Covered Property from further damage.

a. If possible, set aside the damaged property and in the best possible order for examination. Also keep a record of your expenses necessary to protect the Covered Property, for consideration in the settlement of the claim.

5. As requested, give the insurance carrier complete inventories of the damaged and undamaged property. 

a. Include quantities, costs, values, amount of loss claimed and a detailed description of each item.

6. As often as may reasonably be required, permit the insurance carrier to inspect the damaged property and examine your books and records, including financial records and tax returns.

a. You must also permit the insurance carrier to take samples of damaged and undamaged property for inspection, testing and analysis, and permit the insurance carrier to make copies from your books and records.

7. Send the insurance carrier a signed, sworn proof of loss containing the information requested to investigate the claim. You must do so within 60 days after the request.

8. Cooperate with the insurance carrier in the investigation or settlement of the claim

9. Resume all or part of your “operations” as quickly as possible.

Don’t put your claim or policy rights at risk.  Be sure to follow each of these steps in the process!