Insurance Claims: Now What?

Insurance is an important component of an HOA. When there is an insurance claim, it’s hard to know where to start. So what do you do when you need to make a claim? Here are some steps you can take to make sure insurance claims are handled correctly from the start. 

  1. Document the incident.

As soon as possible, document exactly what happened. Interview witnesses, go to the damaged area, take photos, and create a complete report of the damage and what caused it. The more clear you can get when documenting what happened, the better prepared you’ll be to decide which policy to file the claim under.

  1. Prevent further damage.

Make sure you take necessary steps immediately to prevent additional damage. This might mean hiring a vendor to install plywood over a broken window or hole in the roof. Be sure to keep any receipts for work done during this time as this will count as part of the claim.

  1. Evaluate and report the claim.

Look at the information you’ve gathered and decide what kind of claim this is. If it is a property loss such as a broken window or damaged tree, get estimates for how much it will cost to replace the damaged property. If the cost of replacement is lower than the deductible on the Association’s policy, it might not be the best idea to report it. However, if someone was injured on the property, ALWAYS report it, even if the person seems to brush off the injury easily. Whether you’re filing a claim or not, the insurance agent can help advise you. They are the expert so be sure to use them as a resource when there is a potential claim. They can provide useful insight and next steps.

Once you’ve clearly documented the incident, prevented additional damage to the best of your ability, and reported the claim to the insurance company, you’re well on your way to getting the claim settled and the damage repaired.