The Dollars and Cents of Storm Damage | SERVPRO® of Buffalo/Tonawanda
Storm damage hits you hard. In addition to losing beloved possessions, you may suddenly face expenses you weren’t ready for.
In fact, Americans experience as much as $34 billion in storm-related losses every year. Careful planning can help protect you and your family.
You’ve probably done a lot toward damage-proofing your house. You keep your gutters clean, replace large appliances like your hot water heater as they need to be updated, and maintain your house from roof to foundation. A few hours spent damage-proofing your insurance paperwork is also a sound investment.
Know Your Coverage. United Policyholders, a nonprofit group dedicated to informing and advocating for insurance policyholders, advises everyone to be familiar with their insurance policy before a storm hits. The specific wording on your coverage will help you understand exactly what’s protected from what kind of damage. Talk with your insurance agent if you need help understanding your coverage.
Perform Due Diligence. Your insurance claim may be weaker if your property already has damage, so take care of any problems as they occur. To help prove damage came from a recent storm, take “before” photos of your house in good repair.
Get to Safety. After a storm, make sure you and your family are safe. Then check your house for safety hazards, such as downed power lines or standing water. You may need to move to a temporary shelter. Do what you can to limit ongoing damage. For example, you may need to board up broken windows or place a tarp over a hole in your roof.
Immediate Help. Sometimes you can get funding for urgent repairs from your local FEMA office.
Take Pictures, Take Notes. As you prepare your claim, document everything. Take pictures of all damage, superficial to structural.
Are You Ready to File? When you have your documentation prepared, reach out to your company. They will assign an agent to help you through the process. Be persistent and detailed in your claim. Keep careful records of each interaction with your insurance company. Soon, you should be feeling “home-sweet-home” again.
We have many years of experience working with insurance companies to get claims processed. If you experience storm damage, contact us at any hour for quick assistance.