After a severe storm and the trauma of seeing your home sustain damage, the last thing you want to do is turn around and file an insurance claim. Making a claim feels full of unknowns and high stakes. Getting it right is vital, but with the stress of dealing with home damage, it’s hard to know where to start.
To guide you during this rough time, here’s a guide on how to handle a storm damage insurance claim and restore your home without draining all your savings.
Survey Your Property Safely
When things settle down outside, scan for property damage. You may know something hit your roof or that your basement flooded, but you should survey your entire property safely so you don’t miss anything. For example, a fallen tree requires its own process to remove and claim, but depending on how it fell, it could move and injure you or expose you to live electrical wires.
Carefully Document Damage
When assessing damage, bring along a notepad to document things. Take pictures, too. Preparing early ensures nothing catches you off-guard when you invite a contractor or insurance adjuster to your home. This also shows you weak points that you need to address immediately, such as placing a tarp on your roof or taking another measure that protects your family in the meantime.
Get Quotes From Trusted Contractors
Next, get in touch with contractors. Have them come out to perform a service estimate and then choose one to come again after you file and your adjuster visits. This ensures the adjuster sees every pertinent detail for their own notes. Regroup with your contractor afterward—if they don’t agree with the adjuster, you can appeal to have another representative look things over at no additional cost.
File as Soon as Possible
Our final strategy for handling a storm damage insurance claim is to file earlier rather than later. Putting a claim into motion early means a straightforward assessment process and quick repairs. Plus, if the storm affected your entire area, you could wait even longer than you anticipated to get an adjustment if you delay filing.