What do before, during and after your damage inspection?

The following are some general things you can do before, during and after your inspection to protect yourself and make sure that you are treated fairly:

Before:

  1. To the extent possible, make a list of everything that was damaged or lost as a result of Hurricane Harvey. The best way to do this is to go room by room in your house listing everything that was damaged or lost. You can not be over inclusive on this list.
  2. After you have made your list, take pictures of everything that was damaged or lost. When taking pictures, it is important to take close-ups and far away shots. Also, if there is a label on something, be sure to get a picture of the label.
  3. Look for any invoices or receipts for any personal property. If you can’t find receipts, print-outs of the value of the item will be sufficient. For damage to your home or other structure, if you have invoices regarding the cost to build or any recent remodeling job such records will be helpful.

During:

  1. Be at your home when the inspection occurs and, if possible, have another witness with you to watch the inspection. Here you want to make note of everything the adjuster inspects and how long the inspection takes. By way of example, did your adjuster go on your roof? If not, how can he say that there is not a problem with your roof?
  2. Remember the adjuster is not your friend. You want to be polite and honest with the adjuster, but you do not want to guess, speculate or discuss something that you are not qualified to give an opinion on.
  3. You should listen more than you talk and you should try to learn some things about the adjuster:
    • Get a business card from the adjuster
    • try to find out about the adjuster’s background and experience adjusting claims;
    • try to find out who actually employs the adjuster because a lot of times, the adjuster is an independent contractor who does not have that much experience adjusting claims;
    • try to find out about the adjuster’s experience in your area;
    • ask how long it will take to get his report done and when you can obtain a copy of such report; and
    • ask the adjuster to keep copies of all of his notes and photographs.

After:

  1. Notify you insurance company in writing that you want a copy of the adjuster’s report once it is completed.
  2. Once you get the report, review it to see if you think it covers everything that was damaged or lost. Here speak with your friends who have similar damage and see if their insurance companies are covering items that your insurance company is not covering.
  3. Don’t sign any type of release until you are 100% sure that you have been fully and fairly compensated for your loss.