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If you’ve ever suffered a significant loss to your home or business, like a fire or flood, you know what the recovery process is like. Myriads of belongings to sort through, insurance claims to file, and restoration/reconstruction to complete. They all lend to a stressful experience. Often, the mere complexity of the documentation and claims process is daunting and adds unnecessary anxiety to an already difficult situation.
Knowing some of the terms used beforehand helps you and your loved ones navigate a disaster a little more easily. One of those terms is “scope sheet.” If you’ve filed a claim, your insurance adjuster has no doubt used one to help inform your claim. So, what is it, and how does it help you?
A scope sheet, in simple terms, documents the extent of financial damage done to your property by any kind of disaster. The scope sheet lays out in spreadsheet format exactly what materials and items were damaged, how much they were originally worth, and how much it would take, both in labor and materials, to restore the home to pre-loss condition. This is referred to as the “scope of loss.” Your insurance adjuster uses the scope sheet to accurately record the scope of loss while gathering information for your claim.
Getting an accurate assessment of the scope of loss is incredibly important because it helps inform your insurance adjuster as they are determining what your claim should include. In other words, the scope sheet impacts how much money you get paid to restore your home or business. If the scope sheet fails to include the full extent of damage done to your covered property, then the insurance claim may be lowballed, leaving you with out-of-pocket expenditures to help restore your home.
The thing about a scope sheet is that it is only as accurate as the records that indicate what your belongings and property are worth. In other words, the scope sheet merely helps the adjuster document what is ascertained from the visible damage.
When a fire or flood affects your home, it is difficult to accurately assess the damage because some things are either destroyed or damaged so severely that it is nearly impossible to truly ascertain their value. So, what can you do? There are a number of ways that you help prepare for a disaster and ensure that you are fully covered for any loss.
The first thing you do is keep pictures of all your significant belongings. Especially for larger or irreplaceable items, it is vital to keep pictures on file. This gives you a reference point to show your insurance adjuster. You ensure the value of those belongings is reflected on the scope sheet and subsequent claim. Keep receipts showing purchase value. Again, documenting the value of your belongings, especially for larger items, helps accurately inform the scope sheet.
If you have them, always keep the original plans for your home. This shows accurate square footage, which may differ from court records or insurance assessments. Additionally, always keep any real estate or appraisal documentation. One of the chief purposes of the scope sheet, as mentioned earlier, is to document the pre-loss value of your home. Vital to that documentation is knowing what your home is worth. Appraisals from the purchase of your home and other real estate documents helps insulate from being lowballed by giving accurate information as to what your home is worth.
If you have suffered a natural disaster or other catastrophe, it is daunting to know where to begin. NetClaimsNow is here to help you with insurance claims and adjustments after any type of disaster. Contact our team for more information on how we help.