We all say we hope for the best yet must expect the worst, when it comes to storm damage. But it isn’t something we often practice. After all, the number of homeowners who actually expect storm damage are very few – even during the peak of the hurricane season.
Therefore, when homeowners suddenly find themselves in such a situation, they might not know what to do. This may lead to insurance companies taking advantage of the situation to get out of a bigger paycheck.
Here are 5 key steps you should take when dealing with storm damage:
Step 1: Check Your Home For Any Damage
When the storm has passed and it is okay to come outside, make sure to inspect the entire property to assess any damage. Make sure to do this in broad daylight, and be on the lookout for potential hazards such as exposed electrical wires, downed power lines, broken glass or standing water. Make sure to document all the damage by taking pictures and videos.
Step 2: Contact The Insurance Company
Storm damage is covered in most insurance policies, making it essential for you to contact your insurer as soon as possible. The sooner you reach out, the faster the insurance adjuster will arrive at the scene. Make sure to also review your policy prior to filing your claim. In case you lost your policy during the storm, ask your insurer to send you another one.
Step 3: Contact Your Restoration Company
Once the aforementioned is done, it is time to get the storm damage cleaned up. Since you have no idea about the extent of the damage, it is best to hire a restoration company to get the cleanup done. Make sure that you have documented all items before, during and post-restoration. This will help you when you file your claim.
As a general rule, insurers visit the homes of those policyholders whose homes have incurred the larger share of storm damage. This means that your insurance adjuster might take days or even weeks to reach you. If this is your situation, you can contact us – we will arrive at the earliest and get the claims process started at the earliest.
Step 4: File Your Claim For The Damage
Regardless of where your adjuster is from (i.e., a public adjuster or one coming from your insurance company), it is very important that you fully understand your policy and its implications. Remember, even the smallest of mistakes can result in shorter payment, delayed payment or the dismissal of your claim. Of course, having a public adjuster simplifies things for policyholders by guiding the latter through the claims process personally. They will help you gather essential information, such as taking pictures of the initial damage, and get you the settlement you deserve.
There are three key benefits to hiring public adjusters:
- Efficient resolution: Filing a claim yourself can be laborious, especially if you don’t have an understanding of legal proceedings. Public adjusters can help you navigate the process, and avoid any tactics your insurers might have deployed to delay the process.
- Better claims management: Public adjusters can manage the entire claims process on your behalf and in your best interest, allowing you to focus on getting in better shape.
- Bigger settlement: Insurance companies often say they will give the maximum settlement – but in reality, they rarely do, and might even employ unethical tactics to keep it that way. Public adjusters are well aware of these and will make sure to prevent insurers from paying you any less than you deserve.
Step 5: Move-In To Your Restored Home
Always remember to return to your home only once you have the approval from your insurance and your restoration company. This is both for your safety and for legal reasons. While your claims process might not have been completed when you move in (which is usually the case) – returning to where you live will give you a great sense of peace.