Thursday, October 20, 2011

Storm Damage: Dealing With The Aftermath

Storm damage of any kind whether it is high winds, hail, floods or lightning it all make a mess out of your home and life. It is hard to look at the mess that surrounds what used to be your home and not dive right in to start the clean up. Believe it or not you will not want to do that. Initially you should contact your insurance company. A representative will come out to your home and evaluate the damage that the storm has created. They should also lay out a detailed plan to help get your life restarted. You will have to continue living even though storm damage has turned your life topsy-turvy.

How do you get started? Is it possible to tell who is actually going to help you and not scam you or rip you off? Is it possible to completely trust your insurance agent? Who do you contact for expert advice? These questions are hard to answer when you are sitting there vulnerable after a natural disaster of any magnitude. Here is a list of advice to get you started in the long and overwhelming process of repairing storm damage to your home.

Storm Damage Checklist

Contact your insurance agent. This is of course the first and most important advice anyone can give you. Your insurance agent is your ally. Make sure when you are purchasing insurance in the first place that you research local insurance agents. A good rate is one thing but an insurance company that you can count on in a time of need is something completely different. The cheapest might not always be the best way to go.

Don't start any repairs or cleanup efforts until you have had the damage accessed by the professionals. First you don't want to get hurt, second you don't want to make things worse and third you need to give the adjuster the full scope of damage. It is important that you do document in video and film the damage from your prospective. Just in case later on down the road the adjuster gets shaky with his evaluation.

No repairs should be started before you have agreed upon a settlement with you insurance company. If you do something like boarding up windows and such make sure to save receipts. Materials will often be reimbursed. That is the only type of work that should even be contemplated before a final approval has been gone over.

Your homeowner's insurance policy should cover a temporary home for you. Make sure to check with the agent when they arrive to scope out the damage. They might have special restrictions on where you are allowed to stay and for how long, make sure you are aware of these things in advance if possible.

It is so important that you fully understand and are aware of the limitations that the insurance company has in place regarding the coverage on your home in regards to different events. You want to know how you are covered and the differences in coverage for floods, fires, natural disasters, storms, hail, lightening and all that loveliness that storm damage brings. You should also be aware that if you move to another state or another area in your state you could need special coverage for that area. The best advice any homeowner can receive is to find a trustworthy and reliable insurance agent. They will be your best ally if storm damage ever affects your household.

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