Emergency Claims Services
In the event of an emergency:
- First contact your local emergency services by calling 911, or your local police or fire departments.
- To report your claim immediately, contact your insurance agent.
If your insurance agent is unavailable, you may contact the Utica First Insurance Co. 24 hour emergency claims service by calling 1-800-456-4556 and selecting option 7. This service is for EMERGENCIES ONLY, no other information (such as claim status) will be available by calling this hotline.
When should I report a loss?
As soon as you became aware that something has happened you need to report the matter immediately to your agent. A delay in reporting could jeopardize coverage under the policy.
What to do if you have a claim
- Immediately report the claim to your agent. If you do not have your agents contact information, use the search field at the bottom of this page to locate your agent by zip code.
- Have your policy number ready to give to your agent if possible
- Assess the situation and look for any potential hazards. If a hazard exists, take appropriate action to correct the hazard.
- If your house has been burglarized contact your local police immediately.
- If your bank information or credit/debit cards have been stolen, notify your bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
- Create a room-by-room inventory of damages/stolen property. Separate items that may be repaired.
- In the event of an injury, contact the appropriate emergency services to help the injured party. Provide only as much first aid as you have been trained to give.
- If your home is uninhabitable:
- Find temporary housing for you and your family.
- Keep receipts for all expenses incurred while out of your home.
- Notify your agent of you living situation, including contact information.
- If your business is no longer able to function as usual:
- Inform your agent of the cease in business as soon as possible.
- Keep a record of expenses incurred while your business is delayed.
Photo/Video Inventory Tips
- When taking your inventory, make sure to be thorough. Cover every corner of every room, drawing focus to items of higher value and importance.
- Place a record card next to the item in the picture displaying the purchase date, cost and other pertinent information.
- Take pictures of the whole room, followed by close up detailed shots of different sections of the room.
- Many cameras have different picture modes to help get the best quality picture for your surroundings. Take a few test pictures on different settings and choose the one that best suits your needs.
- Save all images and videos to CD or DVD. If you do not have a digital camera, speak to your photo developer about transferring your images to disk.
- If possible, save your digital images and videos to an available online storage site, or home inventory site.
- Label photos and videos with the dates they were taken.
- When taking photos, review them to make sure they are clear (well focused, minimal glare from flash). If struggling with reflections in glass or mirrors, try standing at a 45° angle when taking pictures.
- Use a dark matte cloth as a backdrop for jewelry, china and silverware.
- Photograph the contents of drawers by spreading them out within the open drawer.
- When photographing tools, be sure to take detailed photos of the contents of the toolboxes, as well as detailed photos of model and serial numbers on higher end power tools.
How to prevent a claim
Take Necessary Security Precautions
- Look at your property from the view point of a burglar. If you notice a weakness, take measures to secure that weakness.
- Don't hide your spare keys outside.
- Install motion sensitive exterior lights.
- Consider installing a security system.
- Stay proactive. Always look for new threats.
- Watch weather forecasts to prepare your home and family for potential damages.
- Keep trees well groomed to prevent old branches from falling and causing injury.
- Keep your sidewalks, stairs and driveways clear of icy buildup during winter months to help prevent the possibility of slips and falls.
- If you are a dog owner, make sure your dog is well-trained and always on a leash when being walked. Having your dog spayed or neutered lowers the likelihood that they will bite.
- Make sure to keep your floors and entryways dry and clear of wet or icy buildup.
- If your floor is wet, be sure to use the proper signs to indicate the potential hazard.
- Keep carpets straightened and free of bumps or folds to prevent accidental trips.
- Don't keep all of your valuable equipment in one location. This can provide an easy target for potential burglaries.
- Make sure your policy provides enough coverage for all of your equipment.
Tips for making the claims process easier
Take an inventory of your possessions
- Keep a record with descriptions (model/serial numbers, purchase dates) of all valuables, appliances, electronics and other personal possessions.
- Help substantiate ownership by keeping a photo/video record to accompany your list of possessions.
- Try to keep copies of receipts for your purchases.
- Don't try to keep one large list for your inventory, break it into smaller lists by room to help keep it more well organized.
- Remember to inventory you closets, attic, basement and garage.
- Update your inventory after new purchases.
- Click here to check out our tips for a successful photo/video inventory.
Keep your important documents safe
- Store important documents in a safety deposit box, fire-proof safe or other safe location outside of you home.
- Items to store in a safe location:
- A copy of your Insurance Policy
- Your Home/Business Inventory (List, Pictures, Videos)
- Birth Certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Marriage Certificate