If you experience water damage, fire damage or other damage to your home or business property, it’s vital to have the right steps in place to help you complete a thorough damage assessment for your insurance claim. When a disaster strikes, it can be a confusing and chaotic time, which is why taking a proactive approach by developing a damage assessment plan in advance is your best option for a swift recovery.
Importance of an Initial Damage Assessment
To identify the cause and extent of the damage, a timely initial damage assessment is essential. The more time that passes, the easier it will be to forget details and the more opportunity there is for assessment inaccuracies.
An initial damage assessment can be completed by a property owner once the property is safe. If the property has suffered damage that required assistance from an emergency service, make sure your space has been cleared for re-entry, first.
When completing an initial damage assessment, it’s recommended that property owners:
- Document any damage to the space and to contents within the space with photos or video.
- Cross-reference your home or business inventory. Is everything there? Are equipment and home appliances still useful? Keep detailed notes.
- Block off the area to prevent further damage.
After you’ve completed an initial survey of the damage, it’s time to call in the pros.
What Should a Professional Damage Assessment Include?
Whether you’re dealing with a home or business, a professional damage assessment will serve as way to evaluate any damage you experience during a natural disaster or other event.
Completed by a restoration specialist or insurance adjuster, a professional damage assessment should include the following pieces of information:
- Identification of all damaged items and property, including electrical equipment, technology, supplies, furniture and damage to the building itself.
- Thorough descriptions of the extent of the damage to all items and belongings.
- Determination of which items and/or property features should be replaced, restored or salvaged.
- An estimation of how long it may take to replace and repair the damage.
How to Maximize Your Damage Assessment
Taking the time now to develop the damage assessment plan will make you ready, no matter what disaster or damaging event comes your way. If you wait until you’re facing the aftermath of the event, it’s too late.
Here are the steps you can take prior to a disaster to make the most of your damage assessment plan:
- Create a Disaster Protection Plan (DPP)
A DPP that includes details such as what the people in your home or business should do when a disaster strikes; a complete, regularly-updated inventory of all items in your home or business; a disaster communication plan; and verification that all emergency systems like smoke detectors, sprinklers and alarms are tested frequently and operating optimally.
- Thoroughly Document Valuables
Take photos and videos of your home or business as it is now; this provides an official and accurate record of the items that exist on your property, which will prove helpful following a disaster when making a claim.
- Call Rainbow International
Choose Rainbow International for Fast, Quality Restoration
Whether your property has suffered damage and you need restoration services or you are looking to take proactive steps towards loss prevention with a disaster preparedness plan (DPP), we’re here to help. Request an appointment online now or call (855) 724-6269 to get started.
Wondering if your appliance is still under warranty? Learn how to determine whether or not your repair will be covered with help from our friends at Mr. Appliance. Like Rainbow International, Mr. Appliance is a member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.