Insuring correct claims

Seven On Your Side
February 2, 2011 2:55:02 PM PST
Okay, another car smashed into your S-U-V or ice and snow on your roof has caused water damage or worse, a collapsed roof. That means you'll be calling your insurance agent - we have some simple tips to file fool-proof claim. Snow and ice has caused havoc on the roads. And at home, melting and freezing snow has weighed down gutters.

"All that ice and snow builds up," says Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute. "And you have something called an ice dam which you've got water coming in from your roof."

And snow and ice can even cause a roof to collapse. But when a winter wallop causes damage you may have to file an insurance claim.

After a car accident, first file a police report even if the damage's minor. Get the facts; that means get names, addresses and phone numbers plate and vehicle identification numbers of all involved. And most importantly get the insurance information from the other driver(s).

And then report the accident to your insurance company.

And for homeowners...

"Generally speaking there are a number of types of water damage that are covered under standard homeowners policies," says Jeanne Salvatore. "Ice dams are covered. Also if it gets cold all of a sudden your pipes burst that is generally going to be covered."

First, call your insurance company immediately. And find out what the time limit is to file a claim. Make temporary repairs to your home. And keep all receipts for repairs. Or if you have to move out of your house, document all your out of pocket expenses.

Remember, document all out-of-pocket expenses and save and organize all police reports work estimates and insurance information. It's also not a bad idea to take pictures and video of the damage.

Story by: Nina Pineda

Produced by: Steve Livingstone

Tips for filing homeowners insurance claims