Mitigating Property Damage
Prevent Further Damage to your property
In the immediate aftermath of a property loss, you may need to take steps to reduce the possibility of further damage to your home, personal property or business.
Once you and your loved ones are safe, below are the steps we suggest you take to protect your property after a loss.
Step 1: Protect your property from any further damage
Regardless of the nature of your loss, you should cleanup and undertake any temporary repairs to prevent further damage. This may include doing things like boarding up windows, tarping your roof or cleaning up non-hazardous spills and debris. If necessary, you should consult with a professional to accomplish this. Additionally, you’ll want to assess your property for damage and save all repair expense receipts associated with the loss.
Make sure to stay clear of downed or damaged utility lines, and if you plan to use a generator, never do so in a carport or garage.
For more specific damage types, find your scenario below:
- If safe to do so, attempt to stop the source of the water leak immediately. If necessary, contact a plumber or other professional.
- If the water results from damage to your roof, contact a contractor who can provide tarping services.
Clean up any standing water or wet carpets. If necessary, contact a professional cleaning service.
- It is important for your Claim professional to view what may have caused the loss or damage. If feasible, retain any pipes, hoses or parts involved with the leak. If not, take photos.
- If there's a pipe burst due to freezing conditions or you expect cold weather, you should take steps to mitigate freeze damage. Turn off the water source to the pipe or try to increase the temperature in the room – open cupboard doors and/or turn on a space heater.
- Avoid disturbing the area where the fire started until the Claim professional has contacted you to discuss the loss.
- Do not attempt to clean soot-covered walls, floors or ceilings yourself. This is better left to a professional cleaning company.
- Do not throw away any items damaged in the fire.
- If tree debris is on your home or building or has the potential to cause more damage, contact a professional for removal and/or to place a tarp on your roof.
- Contact your local electric company if any trees are on your electrical lines.
- Stay away from any power lines, especially if they are on the ground.
- If any appliances or electronics are damaged, retain them until you speak with your Claim professional.
- Consider shutting off the power to the affected area or your house depending on the nature of the event and its severity.
- Contact your local electric company if tree debris is on your electrical lines.
- Stay away from any power lines especially if they are on the ground.
- Report the incident to local authorities and obtain the report/case number.
- Prepare a list of missing items. If available, secure original receipts, appraisals, owner’s manuals or any other documents for each item.
- Assess your property for damage, especially masonry chimneys, and be wary of compromised structures which could collapse and cause injury. Use caution as aftershocks can occur days or weeks after a large earthquake.
- If you see a broken pipe or smell gas, shut off your main gas valve
Step 2: Collect relevant information
- Make a list, take photos and/or video of damaged items (prior to clean-up, if possible).
- Save all your emergency repair/expense receipts.
Step 3: If you're unable to stay in your house
If you are unable to stay in your home because it is unsafe to do so, make short-term living arrangements for the next couple of days. Your Claim professional will review the coverage on your policy and evaluate reimbursement of emergency expenses.
Step 4: Let us know if we can help
If you need help finding a contractor to provide any of the services mentioned above, contact your Claim professional for assistance or visit: Find a Claim Service Provider.
What is Depreciation in Insurance Claims?
Learn how we calculate depreciation and how to submit a request for recoverable depreciation.
How to Use Our Exterior Inspection Application
Learn how to use the exterior inspection application for a property inspection.
Hiring a Contractor Checklist and Tips
As you plan your next home renovation project, choosing the right contractor for the job is a critical first step in your planning process.