Report the loss as soon as possible
Most policies require you to report your loss promptly. Contact NJM as soon as you can to report how, when and where the damage occurred. Provide a general description of the damage, and, if possible, have your policy number handy. Make a note of the claim adjuster's name, telephone number and work schedule as soon as you have them.
Protect yourself and others
Always be careful before entering a damaged building. If your property has sustained serious structural damage or if there are any doubts about its safety, contact local government officials to determine the status of your house before entering. Local officials worried about safety also could order people to stay out of the building. Report downed power lines or gas leaks to the utility company. Keep electricity off if the house has been flooded. Never turn electricity on or off while standing in water. Rely on professionals to restore your utilities.
Protect your property
Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. This could include boarding up windows and salvaging undamaged items. Check with your insurance company to see what they will pay for when protecting property.
Prepare a list of damaged or lost items
If possible, keep damaged items, or portions of these items until the claim adjuster has visited your home, and consider photographing or videotaping the damage where it occurred for further documentation to support your claim. Prepare a list of damaged or lost items for your adjuster, and, if available, give the adjuster receipts for those items. Preparing a room-by-room list of contents with photos before a disaster strikes helps to remember items, such as clothing, books or hobby equipment, that can be easily overlooked or may have been destroyed.
If you need to relocate, keep your receipts
Keep track of bills, receipts, and related documents and record all cleanup work you have done as a result of the loss to advise the claims representative. If you have been evacuated by a civil authority as the result of a covered peril and cannot live in your home while repairs are being made, keep records of all additional expenses incurred as a result. Most homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for additional living expenses.
Return claim forms
After NJM has been notified of your claim, the Company will send you the necessary claim forms. Fill out and return the forms as soon as possible. If you do not understand the claim process, be sure to ask your adjuster for a thorough explanation. If you have a mortgage on your home, make sure that NJM has up-to-date records regarding the lender.
A claim adjuster may want to inspect the damage to your home and personal property.
Consider adding home safety features
As you make plans to rebuild or repair your home, ask your contractor, your insurance adjuster or your local home improvement store about features you might include that would help make your home better able to resist natural disasters common in your area. Also find out whether there are any applicable building code requirements along these lines.