Apartment mishap? 8 things to know when filing a claim

If you’re living in an apartment in New York City, it’s likely that your building is getting on in years. That means the pipes are older too, and more likely to burst — a frequent cause of a claim, and a good reason to buy apartment insurance.

Here are eight things you must remember when filing a claim:

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1. Mitigate damages. Turn off the water, call a plumber, or an electrician. Keep receipts for emergency work.

2. Contact your insurer. Explain the damage and ask your insurer if your policy covers you. And don’t delay. Many policies require that you report damage within 72 hours.

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3. Take pictures. Identify everything that has been damaged and take a color photo. If items were stolen, find a picture of the item in your apartment — hopefully, you’ve taken pictures of all your belongings beforehand.

4. Report a theft to the police. Most renters’ insurance policies require that you contact the police about a theft or burglary. Send a copy of the police report to your insurer.

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5. Hold on to damaged property. The claims adjuster might need to check your damaged property, so if possible, don’t throw it out. However, if you can’t keep your items because they’re wet and mildew,  most policies will require you get clearance from your insurance company before you throw them out.

6. Create an inventory. Write down a list of all damaged or stolen property — it’ll be helpful when you complete a claim form. Include the year purchased, purchase price, and serial number (if applicable)

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7. Meet with the claims adjuster. If your damaged items were valuable, an adjuster might need to look at them.

8. Cash your check. One benefit of apartment insurance is that your insurer will get someone to help you clean up the damage. In the event of a significant claim, an initial payment is often made very quickly to help you cover expenses.

Gotham Brokerage has been in the New York market for 50 years, and can help make sure your property is protected against fire, theft, and even that negligent upstairs neighbor who forgets to turn the water off.

Contact Gotham for a free quote today.