What to do in the event of a claim
If your property has been damaged, take whatever steps are necessary to prevent further damage, and keep receipts for any expenses. Contractors are listed in the Yellow Pages under “Fire and Water Damage Restoration.” Here are a few (CIMA has no relationship with these contractors):
- American Catastrophe – 800.950.2237
- Servpro – 800 SERVPRO – 800.737.8776
- Purofirst – 800.500.2399
- Servicemaster – 703.771.9697; 703.327.8807; 888.SM CLEAN -888.762.5326
- Complete Restoration Services – 703.327.2211; 800.234.8552; 800.743.1714
Make a list of all damaged property. Do not throw away any damaged property until an insurance adjuster tells you it is all right to do so. If the claim involves another party, do not admit liability or reveal your limits of insurance coverage.
Most of the insurance companies we represent have 24-hour claim service, and you can report your claim directly to them. (They will contact us automatically.) To go to the directory of companies now, click here.
If your insurance company is not listed in the directory, please contact your CIMA account executive no later than the next business day. For a staff directory, see the “Contact” menu at the top of this page.
Timely reporting of claims is a must!
Please remember that when you buy an insurance policy, the agreement with the insurer is that you will let the insurer know whenever you are aware of a situation that might give rise to a claim. Time — and timely notification — is critical, if the insurer is to keep its own part of the agreement…to make you whole for any covered loss you might have. Often, particularly with liability claims where a legal defense is required, the insurer needs to begin gathering information right away. If the insurer is not put on notice until the later stages, an effective legal defense might be impossible, and the carrier might exercise its right to deny the claim on the basis that the policyholder did not provide timely notification. State laws vary, but in general they support the insurers in their denial of such claims.
Do not wait to see if a problem will “blow over.” As soon as you are aware of circumstances that might give rise to a claim, please review your policy language regarding covered claims, and your reporting responsibility. At your request, CIMA will assist you in dealing with the insurance company in an effort to assure that the claim is properly evaluated and you are treated fairly.