Alright. I know this is a daunting thing but you’ll thank me for this later. Today, I ran across this really wonderful conversation on Reddit where a former insurance employee details pretty much everything you need to know about filing your insurance claim. But here’s the biggest takeaway on the whole thing:
Be as specific, as detailed, and as absolutely anal about the whole thing as you possibly can.
This was a guy who’s job it was to dispute any claim and give folks the absolute lowest value that the company could get away with. He offered his insight on this thread to help people understand how to get the most value they can through the claim process while also being honest and upfront about your situation. For instance, most claim victims (even in a total loss situation) don’t consider the value of everything in their shower. I mean, come on, it’s just a shower, right? Well, If you were to itemize every single thing as detailed as possible, the contents of your shower may be able to bring another $300-500 on your claim. Think about it. That 32oz Bed Head shampoo bottle? How much is it going to cost to replace that exact size product? $30 or somewhere around that ballpark most likely. And that’s on the cheap. That really nice shower caddy that took you weeks to find and you eventually just ordered one online? Shipping? All of it? Maybe $125 or more. How about that nice, designer shower curtain? $35-40 most likely. The liner? Probably another $20 or so. And now we’re already up past $200 and that’s just the shower curtain, liner and a combination of shampoo and conditioner. And I’m sure you have more stuff than that. We all do. Sponges, loofahs, soaps, shaving cream, razors, and that’s just for one person….multiply that by two or three or four or, like in our case, five and you’re missing out on a WHOLE lot of value on your claim. And most people forget this, they just think, “Oh, a shower, never mind.”
This Reddit thread goes into GREAT detail on not just what areas to think about but HOW you think about them. There’s a world of difference between putting “toaster” on your claim form. Put that and you’re likely to get the $5 toaster from Wal-mart…which, if that’s what you had, great. But what if you had a $35 Kitchenaid toaster? How you think about these things makes ALL the difference in the world and what you put on your claim form can make the difference between truly getting “like kind” replacements and finding yourself disappointed that you have to start all over in your work to bring things back to where they were when Harvey hit.
Check out the thread, please. You can thank me for it later.
We were able to gather from various resources and put together an incredibly detailed checklist for your insurance claim. This list comes out of the level of detail you’ll need to get the most value out of your claim. We were able to produce two version of the list: 1) a 75 page downloadable PDF that you can print off and fill out by hand if that’s your thing and 2) a shareable Google Docs spreadsheet if you’d rather do it online.
We’re going to continue to do everything we can to help you every step of the way. You’re not alone. We’re cleaning houses, ripping out carpet, shuttling people around, doing laundry, finding short term rental property, letting you know what’s open and what’s not. We’ve never been interested in just slinging houses. We’re here to make life easier in whatever way we can. And today, it’s helping people think through insurance claims while hauling soaking wet carpet filled with the acrid scent of mildew and Harvey.
We will make it through this. We will. It’s who we are and it’s who you are. We’re in this together.