Notice of Loss
As soon as possible (or practicable, as they say in the courtroom), you need to contact your insurance company by telephone, or in writing. Contact with your insurer means contacting either their local office, their agent, broker, or assigned adjuster. Although there is no requirement that the notice be by certified mail, we strongly suggest that you take the time to notify your insurer by both telephone and by certified mail. You should make a record of your telephone conversations: the dates, times, and telephone numbers, and the names of the people you speak to as well as notes about what was said.
THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you fail to follow the notice provisions of your insurance policy, you may be barred from recovery of insurance proceeds for your loss. Meaning, no matter how severe your loss, or how responsible the insurance company would otherwise ordinarily be, you probably won't get a dime. Let's be clear about this: if your entire town is wiped out by a tornado, the story is on television everyday around the world, and you are even interviewed twice a day by CNN on the bare concrete slab that used to be the foundation of your home, this may not be considered notice to your homeowner's insurance company. YOU MUST PROVIDE THE NOTICE IN THE METHOD AND MANNER REQUIRED BY YOUR CONTRACT (POLICY) OF INSURANCE.
Although there are many variations of this rule across different jurisdictions, your failure or unreasonable delay in giving notice of your loss to your insurance company, may bar your recovery.
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