We all know having a good insurance plan is good. But having a local real insurance agent to help you every step of the way is better! Which is why we recommend going to see our friend Craig at JSW Insurance for all of your insurance needs in Dublin, CA. Hopefully, this article will help you make an informed decision with purchasing insurance. Call Craig today at 925.737.1560!
How to Be Prepared For a Claim
No one likes having a property insurance claim, but being prepared can help you through this troubling time. There are some simple steps you can take to prepare for a property damage loss that will make the process of recovery just a little bit easier for you.
Easily the most common type of claim for all of us, a fender bender can certainly ruin your day. Fortunately, most of us have the perfect tool for documenting the facts of an accident right in the palm of our hand.
If your insurance carrier has a mobile app available for your smartphone it’s a good idea to have that installed on the smartphone for every driver in your household. Many insurance mobile apps will assist you in both collecting the following data and submitting the claim immediately. Even from the scene of the accident.
After being involved in an accident, make sure that you are in a safe place and that all occupants of your car are OK. If not, you should use your cell phone and call for help by dialing 911. Once you are safe, begin documenting the facts of the accident. First focus on the time and place of where the accident occurred. Most cell phones can have GPS and can pinpoint your location or make note of where you are on the map. If you’re near a local business, you can certainly take a photo of the address of that business with your cell phone camera.
Next, you will need to gather information about the other driver(s) involved. You’ll want to know his name, driver’s license number, and contact information. Having a cell phone camera to take a photo of his driver’s license can capture most of this easily. Same with the other driver’s proof of insurance and vehicle registration. Snap a photo of each. You can also take photos of the damage to the other party’s car. Make sure to get a shot with his license plate as well. All of this will help a claims adjuster determine who is at fault for the accident and be able to identify the owner of the car, the driver, and the insurance company for the other party.
Finally, you can take photos of your own car showing the location of the damage. You can also offer your information to the other driver in the same way. Having him take photos of your information means that you can keep all of your originals with you.
Having your home damaged in a fire can be a devastating time for anyone. A little effort to be prepared can help you in an otherwise unfortunate time. Here are some things that you can do today to be prepared.
Taking a home inventory can be a daunting task for anyone who has lived in their home for many years, but you can use the camera on your smartphone to help make this a much more manageable task. Go one room at a time taking photos. Concentrate on valuables as well as a full view of each room. Don’t forget to open your closets and drawers to get photos of what’s inside. Once you’ve taken photos of each room, save those photos in your choice of cloud storage. This way your photos will be accessible to you even if your home has suffered a fire. Using those photos will help you recall what you owned so you can make the claim process easier.
For as little as $50 you can buy a fireproof safe. Keep your valuable papers in this safe such as birth certificates, vehicle ownership papers, and the like in this safe. Be sure to check the fire rating of any safe you buy to ensure that it is adequate for your needs.
Concerned with home burglary? Upgrade to a safe that is large enough for your jewelry and that can be bolted to your floor. This way the burglar can’t just walk away with the entire safe and its contents.
Alarm systems have come a long way these days. For as little as $200 you can purchase a wireless alarm system that you can install yourself. And for as little as $9.99 a month, you can have that alarm system monitored by a 3rd party, which will usually result in a discount on your homeowner insurance policy. Pro Tip: Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm that reports to your alarm system. This way you will have monitored fire protection and in some cases an even greater discount on your homeowner insurance.
Talk about and practice these things with every member of your household so that everyone knows what to do at the time of a claim. Load the appropriate insurance app on your phone and have other members of your household do the same. This way anyone can know what to do at the time of a loss.
About the Author
Craig Williams, President, JSW Insurance, Dublin, CA
7567 Amador Valley Blvd., Suite 211
Licensed insurance agent since 1996 Craig holds licenses in California, Nevada, Washington and Arizona.
Craig is proud to be a second-generation independent insurance agent and runs his family-owned business with his sister.
Craig recently served as the President of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California following his service on both its executive committee and its board of directors.
Craig leads a very active life outside of insurance. He loves to snow ski, run, bike, hike and going out to see local, live rock music. He volunteers his time as the treasurer of the very active Boy Scout Troop 834, and the financial secretary for the Bollinger Canyon Education Fund. Craig is also the father of a son who is in high school and a daughter who is in grade school.