After a massive storm, it can be overwhelming figuring out how to deal with the damage inflicted upon your home. Even with proper precautions taken, there is no 100% effective method of shielding your home from foul weather.
Should an incident happen, follow the steps below to correctly file an insurance claim.
Review your homeowners’ insurance. While most homeowners’ insurance covers many weather-related items, such as damage from fallen trees, it does not cover everything. Make sure to review your homeowner’s policy, so you are aware of your coverage.
Act quickly. Most insurance policies place a strict deadline on when to file a claim and filing one too late may lead to your claim getting denied and costing you a lot more. Filing a claim as soon as possible will also ensure your home gets repaired quickly.
Document everything. Take pictures of all damage incurred and keep a log of the storm from news articles to weather reports. Make sure to jot down everything before starting to clean up, that way your insurance company can see the full scale of the storm’s impact.
Contact a contractor. A professional contractor will provide an assessment of the damage and check the entirety of the home from top to bottom. Having their valuation will also lend credibility to your claim. If possible, try to get quote estimates from multiple sources.
Do minor cleanup. Try to mitigate small messes, such as boarding up holes or cleaning up leaks. Record what efforts you made to lessen the effects of the storm but leave larger problems alone. While your makeshift solution may seem helpful at the time, it could end up causing issues with your coverage later.
Keep all receipts. If you spend any money while trying to protect your property, make sure to put your receipts in a safe place as they may be reimbursable. You may even qualify to receive upfront costs for a hotel room if your home is uninhabitable.
Take note of everyone you talk to. Create a list of anyone you speak to regarding your insurance claim and write down their name, title and contact information. Also put down the date, time and a brief summary of the conversation. The more organized you are, the easier your claims process will be.
For more information regarding storms or your insurance policy, contact your insurer.