When a storm causes destruction in the Midwest, many homeowners are affected. But recovering from such destruction can be troublesome when you don’t know where to start.
In the following article, we’ll go over the key steps to take as you navigate the damage done to your house after a storm and how to repair it.
Steps to Recovering Your Home After a Storm
Make temporary repairs.
Of course, the very first thing to do after a storm is to establish that everyone is safe and sound. Once this has been done, check out the damage. According to your insurance contract, you must take the necessary steps to prevent further damage.
Therefore, if for example, there’s a tree branch sticking through your window, do what you need to do to remove the branch and cover the window. This may simply mean tacking a tarp over the open window so that the elements and other animals and pests can’t get in.
While you need to prevent further damage after the initial damage caused by the storm, you don’t want to make all the repairs you need (for example, don’t hire a contractor to start on the repairs just yet). If you do this without getting approval for the expenses from your insurance company, you may be disqualifying your right to your payout.
Touch base with your insurance provider.
The sooner you speak with your insurance agent, the better. Most agencies have claim-making deadlines after covered events occur. Your agent will want to know that you’re setting the wheels of a claim in motion; though, remember you’ll need to do the actual filing of the claim later — after the adjuster has been to your home and you’ve received approval on estimated repairs. Generally speaking, by law, insurance agencies are supposed to make this process speedy for homeowners.
Be sure to ask about the claim deadline, and if you’re not already aware, ask about what your particular policy will cover in terms of damage as well. For the most part, you should have all wind damage covered under your policy. On the other hand, flooding is rarely covered by typical homeowners policies.
Your agent may also ask you to take pictures of the damage. Strong record of what happened will bolster your chances of having a speedy claim and getting a full payout. Try to shoot the damage from a variety of angles. If damage occurred on your home’s exterior, for instance, get a wide shot, showing your entire home where you can also see the damage. Also, get mid-distance shots and close-ups of the damage. Be sure to label everything appropriately.
Be approved for repairs, and hire a contractor.
The last key step is to hire a contractor so that you can have your repairs approved by your insurance agent. You need someone with the right skills to handle the job, and they should also be fully licensed.
A good contractor will provide you with a free written estimate. This should detail all the labor and material costs necessary to repair your home completely. Show this estimate to your insurance agency for approval.
As you search for a contractor in your area, be sure to hire locally. Out-of-town contractors who commonly scope areas where storms have recently been are called “storm chasers.” They will often cheat you out of good work by promising cheap and speedy repairs in exchange for upfront payment, then leaving town before the job gets done.
Understanding homeowners insurance can be difficult. If you have questions about your policy, premiums, deductibles, coverage options, or anything else, contact Mayville Insurance today. Feel free to give our office a call, or visit one of our locations.