After a storm damages your home, you may want to let things slide and file a claim at a later date. But, it’s smart to file storm damage claims promptly, if not immediately. Here is why.
Your insurance company has rules about how long they can legally wait before paying out a claim, and those rules vary by policy and state. Plus, filing a claim as soon as possible allows you to start working with your contractor right away so you can get repairs underway as quickly as possible.
Also, depending on the carrier, you may only have 6 months to file a claim and complete the work or you may get 2 years to file a claim and complete the work as is the case with State Farm.
If you wait too long, you may have no choice but to hire someone else to do the work or do the work yourself—and neither of those options is ideal.
In this blog post, we delve deeper into how to file storm damage claims so that you can be in the know.
What to Do After a Storm Strikes Through Your Area for Storm Damage Claims
First things first: You may not know what to do immediately after a storm ravages through your area.
Here are some handy tips that could help get you started:
After a storm, it can be hard to think about anything other than getting yourself and your family to safety. But, once the storm has passed, it’s time to start assessing damages and planning repairs.
Remember, safety first.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is check for broken windows with glass shards laying on your property. If there are any shards leftover from broken windows or other structures—such as skylights or glass doors—you should get rid of them immediately.
The sharp edges of these shards pose a serious risk to anyone who might step on them while walking around barefoot or in sandals. If you have any minor children or pets in your home, keep them away until a professional glass contractor has removed these hazards.
Make sure that every member of your family is safe. Call the emergency services if someone is missing or stuck in debris.
Gather Photographic Evidence of the Damage to Your Home
Taking pictures of storm damage is essential. The pictures will help you show your insurance company or insurance adjuster what happened and are an excellent way to document exactly what happened for homeowners insurance purposes.
When you’re ready to start taking pictures, take them from different angles so that your viewer can see how far-reaching the damage is.
Start by taking pictures of the front of your house along with showing your address if possible. From there you will want to take at least 3 pictures of each side or elevation. So as an example you would want to take a picture from straight on of the front of the house along with each front corner that also shows a combination of the left side of the front and also the left side of the house. You would want to repeat this for all 4 sides of the house. Then you would want to take pictures of the roof from all sides of the house to show what it looks like. By doing this, you should be able to see if any siding, gutters, or windows are damaged. You should also take pictures of each room’s ceiling in your house (just in case there is a leak somewhere), including the attic, living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms, so you have this damage (if any) documented from the storm.
If needed, take the necessary steps to protect your home. Meaning if a tree branch punctures your roof you should have a tarp installed over the area to stop any water intrusion from happening further. If a window gets busted you should install a piece of plywood over it to prevent further damage from the weather elements. If any of these steps are needed, keep all your receipts as proof for the insurance adjuster.
File Your Insurance Storm Damage Claim Promptly
After a storm, don’t wait to contact your insurance company. Some damage can also happen within the first 48 hours after a storm. Getting in touch with your insurance company immediately helps them assess the damage and offer assistance with filing claims.
In addition, your chances of getting reimbursed for your losses are higher when you file a claim sooner rather than later. If you wait too long before filing a claim, there may not be enough evidence left of the storm damage.
This makes it harder for a claims adjuster to evaluate what needs fixing and determine how much money you need for repairs or replacements (which is why some insurance companies require taking photos).
Below are a few tips for filing an insurance claim:
- Be sure to keep all receipts related to the storm damage
- Include photos of all damages from the storm (with notes)
- The date of the storm and time (if possible)
- Was it Hail or Wind or both? More often than not it is both
- What was damaged? Roof, Siding, Gutters, Deck, Fence, etc.
Choose an Experienced Storm Damage Contractor
Do you know what to look for in a storm damage contractor?
There are many things to consider when it comes to home repairs after a storm. You want to ensure that your contractor has the appropriate licenses and insurance to carry out this specialized work.
Also, beware of “storm chasers.” These contractors drive in from out of town to offer their help with storm repairs but leave town after they finish the work. Instead, choose a local company like Johnson Exteriors with a proven record of working in your area.
You might also want to hire a general contractor instead of just hiring individual subcontractors who provide specific services like roofing or painting. This can save you time because they’ll be able to coordinate all aspects of the job, such as scheduling, ordering materials, and overseeing workers’ progress on site.
We Help Clients Deal with the Damage and File Storm Damage Claims Properly
The best way to avoid problems after storm damage? Be proactive and file storm damage claims as soon as possible!
You may have heard the saying, “The devil is in the details.” When it comes to your home insurance claim, it’s true.
Storm damage is a serious matter and one that can be extremely stressful, especially when you’re dealing with a company that doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Johnson Exteriors can help you get the best possible outcome from your insurance company, no matter what type of damage occurs. We’ve been in the field for over 30 years, assessing storm damage, repairing roof damage, and even handling storm damage insurance claims.
We understand how important it is for you to work with a professional who has experience in this field, so we make sure our team members are qualified and experienced at what they do before we hire them. And, if there’s ever any doubt about their ability or knowledge level, we’ll train them until they get it right.
Do you have questions or just want some peace of mind that someone is on their way right now to take care of everything? Give us a call at 763-355-4458 today.