Hurricanes, Nor’Easters, and Tornadoes, oh my!
You secure your home the best you can and keep family safe. Unfortunately, mother-nature is very unpredictable and we cannot control her wrath! That is why we have homeowners insurance, to help us through the tough situations that may cause damage to our homes. If you ever had storm damage to your property, you know it can be a very time consuming process. Between the numerous phone calls and paperwork, there are steps to take to make your insurance claim easier.
What to do Immediately After a Storm
Your first instinct after a storm is probably to start cleaning up and making repairs. It’s a natural next step. But, the problem with this is that if you start to clear the problem away, it’s going to be very difficult for your insurance adjuster to figure out what actually happened. Here are some do’s and don’ts after the storm:
- Take multiple photos and videos of the damage inside and out. Details matter, and if more than one property is involved– home, car, boat, neighbor’s property, record it all.
- Don’t remove anything that is going to add more damage to the house. Do not touch anything you don’t have to. If there is a tree on your roof and it is going through your attic, you may have to remove it. But, if the tree on your roof is just lying there with minimal damage, leave it until the adjuster records it.
- Do stabilize serious problems like leaking roofs. You will need to act on problems like leaking roofs, or pipes to prevent more damage. Check with your insurance adjuster before making any fixes to a problem to make sure it is recorded properly.
- Don’t hire any roofers or other repair companies that are canvassing your neighborhood. These professionals may not come in with bad intentions, but you need to know what your insurance is prepared to cover before you hire anyone.
The Insurance Adjuster Visit
Depending on the damage and if it was a town wide event, the adjuster may take a day to a week to arrive. They will assess your damage and take photos. Make sure you show them all the damage while they are there. Show them your photos and if you had to repair anything to prevent more damage. The more information they have, the easier it will be to estimate the cost to fix the damage. Be patient and be prepared to wait for answers from your insurance company, especially if it was an area wide disaster. Follow up with your adjuster and they will be tell you where they are in the claims process.
Above all, make sure you are covered. Some insurance companies do not cover natural disasters, your home may be under insured, or you may require flood insurance for your area and were not aware. It is a good idea to review your insurance coverage annually to make sure you don’t get caught in a situation where your insurance company denies your claim.
If you would like a list of insurance companies in the area, I would be happy to supply them to you to make sure you are fully covered. Call me at 917-613-2936.