Even though you have insurance coverage for storm damage, having everything repaired back to normal can still be expensive. To ensure that the insurance company pays for everything except the deductible so you are not out any money, there are a few things you need to do.
Check Your Coverage
The basic homeowner's policy may not cover different types of storm damage. Most often this will be flood damage. You need to be sure your policy contains this. In addition, you will want the coverage to include more than just repairs to the structure such as furniture and belongings that must be replaced due to the water. If you live in an area that is known to have hurricanes, tornadoes, or other storms regularly, make sure that they are all included with your policy. Sometimes, "acts of God" are exempt from complete coverage.
Mitigate the Damage
With today's technology, most storms are known well in advance of them hitting your home. Have the materials in place to board up windows, pump water out of the house, and cover any holes in walls or roofs both before and after the storm. Keep the receipts for these materials and take pictures of them once they are in place. This shows the insurance company you did everything possible to mitigate the amount of damage. You do not want to have to pay out of pocket because you failed to board up the windows when you knew a hurricane was approaching or have to replace all the furniture because you did not attempt to cover the gaping hole in the roof after a tree fell on it.
As soon as it is safely possible, take pictures of all the damage. The sooner you do this, the less likely the insurance company will claim there was extra damage you could have avoided. Make copies of the pictures and send one copy in with the claim forms.
Use a Reputable Contractor
When there is a storm, many handymen will offer to help with the repairs at a lower rate than licensed and certified contractors. Your insurance company may not pay if you use someone who is not authorized to do the work. Make sure you vet anyone you are considering. Check for a license and ask for references. You can also ask the insurance company if this person is authorized to do the work.
While you want to have your home back to normal as soon as possible, you also do not want to have to pay for all the repairs if you have been paying for insurance. Take a bit of extra time to make sure that the insurance company has no reason to deny the claim or only pay a portion of the storm damage repair costs.Share
7 February 2017
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