#4 of the Top Ten List – Take LOTS of Photos!

This article is excerpted from the book, “Insurance Claim Secrets REVEALED!”

Want to know why camera work is so important when you have a claim?

A. A photo is worth a thousand words. (I think I’ve heard that before)

B. Photos trigger memories, and remind you of building and contents items that were destroyed or damaged.

C. Time is of the essence. If you’re adjuster can’t get to your property for a couple days (or weeks in hurricane losses), and you need to protect your property, you can carefully photograph the areas that you are protecting before you cover them or alter them. That way, you’ve preserved evidence of the damages.

D. On occasion, there are disputes between you and the adjuster on what was damaged, or how much damage occurred. Adjuster like to write estimates to clean and repair stuff rather than replace it. Your photo of the damage may be the proof you’ll need to get paid correctly.

Take a camera, lots of film (or disposable cameras) and a pad of paper. Photograph ALL DAMAGE, INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR. TAKE PHOTOS OF CONTENTS DAMAGE. There might be hidden damage…don’t worry about that. Just get photos of the damage in plain sight. On the pad of paper, make a log of every shot you took. Don’t wait for the adjuster to do take the photos. He might be days or weeks from inspecting your property. Your insurance contract requires you to mitigate your damage.

If you can, get hold of a video camera and a couple of video tapes. You might need a floodlight or other very powerful battery-powered light. If your dwelling is safe to walk through, take video footage of every room in the house where there is damage. Take footage from every angle in every room. Make sure you take footage of your damaged contents. Shoot footage inside closets…in open drawers, inside boxes, on bookshelves, inside cabinets, in the garage where lots of junk is stored. Take shots of all four sides of your home from the outside. If you have exterior damage, shoot it. Take footage of the debris in the yard, especially if it has contents items that the fire department threw out in the yard. After a tornado, your property might be strewn all over the place. Shoot it. After a flood, lots of stuff may have been hauled out and dropped in the yard. Shoot it.

If you can’t get a video camera, then use a digital camera and take still photos. If you can’t get a digital camera, use a 35mm camera. Use the camera in your cell phone. Heck, use disposable cameras. JUST TAKE THE PHOTOS AND GET YOUR DAMAGES ON FILM!!

NEVER give your film negatives or original videotape to the adjuster. Give copies of the photos and videos, if they ask for them. Keep track of your expenses for photos and videos…you can recover that cost from your insurance policy.

I promise that you’ll never be sorry you photographed your loss. Think of it…there’s no downside for you. The insurance company will reimburse you for your photos, and it will help you prove your loss.

But, if you don’t take the photos, there’s no upside for you. You are leaving your financial future in the hands of an adjuster you don’t know.

Which sounds best to you?

For more information, go to: http://www.insurance-claim-secrets.com

Copyright 2008, Russell D. Longcore. All rights reserved.

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One Response to #4 of the Top Ten List – Take LOTS of Photos!

  1. Ben Wright says:

    Russell: When making digital records, such as digital photos, for legal purposes, there is a technique that helps to preserve the records from tampering. It also helps to memorialize who made the record, how, where, under what conditions, and so on. The technique is to sign the record with a voice signature. See http://hack-igations.blogspot.com/2008/04/text-message-investigations.html
    It can also help to preserve other evidence that might be relevant to a claim, such as web pages, e-mails and text messages. What do you think? –Ben

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