(Note: This Guest Blog is by Corey Harris, an attorney with Merlin Law Group in the Tampa, Florida, office. This is the ninth of a twelve part series he is writing on proof of loss).

I have spent the last few weeks writing about everything from what a Proof of Loss is to when one must be filed. As I was deciding on a topic for this week, I realized that while I had spent weeks talking about Proofs, I had yet to post an example. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this week I am posting an example of a common Proof of Loss form.

As you can see, this form is very straight forward and seems simple enough to fill out. To fill out this form you will likely need to have a copy of your policy and declarations page in order to find the information such the policy number and limits, as well as the issue and expiration dates. You will also need to have specific information about the property, including specifics about occupancy and changes in title; abandoned property is not normally covered under standard policies and a change in ownership may affect whether coverage is available or if replacement cost or actual cash value is owed.

Finally, you will need to have information about the loss. As you can see below, the form requests a statement of the property which was damaged and its value. The amount of money claimed by the insured is also requested and should be as accurate as possible at the time that the Proof is submitted.

At the end of this form, as is standard in all Proofs of Loss, the insured must certify that the loss was not intentional and sign and swear that the information is accurate to the best of their knowledge.

While the format of some forms may differ, the information requested is usually the same. It is important to read the form thoroughly and be sure that the information is correct and complete before forwarding it to your insurer. As explained in previous posts, even a small mistake can cause a number of problems in getting your claim paid.