The claims process can be confusing. No surprise there. With so many moving parts, feeling overwhelmed or even powerless can be easy. While there are aspects beyond one's control, one can take simple yet effective steps to ensure the on-site inspection process runs as smoothly as possible. Whether you are an adjuster or a home or business owner, these steps can help make the most of your on-site claims inspection.
Top 10 best practices to prepare for a claims inspection
#1 After a loss, take an inventory of the items you believe are or may be damaged.
This may seem pretty straightforward; however, depending on the severity of the loss event, damaged items may be discovered continuously over the course of several weeks. Prior to your scheduled inspection, be sure you've taken steps to identify all the items you wish to have inspected.
#2 Know where the claimed items are located.
The claims process can feel like a juggling act at times. With so many balls in the air, it can be easy to lose track of things. Be sure you know where all the claimed items are located prior to the inspection. This will limit confusion during the on-site assessment and ensure all claimed items are assessed properly.
#3 Assign a point-of-contact who is familiar with the loss location and claimed item inventory.
This point is particularly important for commercial locations, such as businesses, churches, and hotels. Often, in these environments, there are multiple site contacts involved in the claims process. For the on-site inspection, be sure to select a point-of-contact who is both familiar with the location and is aware of the complete claimed item inventory.
#4 Confirm power is present at the loss location.
Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but this detail certainly slips through the cracks on occasion! Be sure to confirm power is present at the loss location, or wherever the inspection is scheduled to take place. Lack of power will prevent a thorough on-site inspection and ultimately delay the claims process.
#5 Consider how long the inspection may take based on the number of items.
To thoroughly inspect and document the claimed items, sufficient time is needed for the technician. Be sure to set aside adequate time for the technician to complete the full inspection.
#6 Determine if all items are accessible prior to the scheduled inspection.
Are some items located in an attic or crawlspace? Are recessed light fixtures being claimed? Is a ladder needed to reach some items? These are all good questions to ask yourself prior to a claims inspection. The technician will need to be aware of any accessibility issues prior to the site visit.
#7 Have any important documents, such as receipts or invoices, compiled prior to the scheduled inspection.
Are you in the process of repairing or replacing claimed items? Be sure to have any diagnostic receipts, invoices, original purchase receipts, estimates, or proposals ready to be documented by the technician prior to the on-site assessment.
#8 Check with your adjuster prior to discarding any claimed items.
After a loss, it may be tempting to discard physically damaged items, such as a moldy refrigerator or water-logged television; however, you should always check with your adjuster prior to discarding any claimed items, so as to mitigate any issues in the claims process.
#9 Consider if any specialty items are being claimed.
Is your vintage Coca-Cola machine damaged? How about your automated lighting system? Be sure to let your adjuster and third-party inspection service know about any specialty-claimed items. This will help ensure proper accommodations can be made and avoid delays in the claims process.
#10 Know your contacts.
Do you know who to contact about your claim? Be sure to keep a list of important contacts throughout the claims process. When a party contacts you about your claim, be sure to save their number in your phone. This can help prevent important calls from being flagged as SPAM or scam calls.
Have a question about an on-site claims inspection? Reach out today.