6 ways to bungle a disaster insurance claim

Forgetting to keep your receipts
Forgetting to keep your receipts © Elena Elisseeva/

Saving your receipts is crucial to a successful disaster insurance claim. So don't toss those little slips of paper that accumulate as you try to put your life back together.

"We'd say when in doubt, keep all receipts for the repairs," Wilson says, adding that good records can speed up the claims process.

Most insurance companies also reimburse costs related to the "loss of use" of your home. If it's temporarily inhabitable, make sure you retain receipts related to expenses such as hotel stays and car rentals.

Finally, remember that the time to start preparing for a disaster is long before it happens. If you undertake major renovation projects or buy expensive appliances or furnishings, make sure to tuck away all the paperwork somewhere safe.

The receipts not only serve as proof of purchase but also establish the value of your claim.


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