The insurance company will assign an adjuster, who will assess the damage and submit an estimate for review. Since the beginning of the pandemic, adjusters have increasingly been doing their work remotely—communicating through smartphone tools like FaceTime, Google Duo, and Skype—and accepting videos and photos directly from policyholders’ phones.
During the appointment, the adjuster may ask you to walk from room to room taking video with your phone, describing damage, and showing it in context and scale by zooming in and out.
But if you’re not comfortable dealing virtually—or the damage appears to be considerable and severe—you can ask the insurer to have an adjuster come to your home, says Camille Garcia, a spokesperson for the Austin-based Insurance Council of Texas, a trade group.
If the adjuster will be coming to your home, ask the insurance company for his or her name before your appointment, then ask for identification before letting the person into your home.
Regardless of whether your adjuster’s visit is conducted virtually or in-person, it helps to make a list of items that were destroyed or are in need of repair. Include the amount you paid for them and gather any receipts you can find.
You can report more damage you discover after the adjuster’s appointment. Depending on the policy, a claim can stay open—and you can receive additional compensation—for many months after the initial report, Garcia notes.