Summer marks the beginning of storm season in areas like Germantown. If you own a home in this area, it’s important to know how to prepare in the event of a devastating storm that may cause damage to your house.
Of course, even the best-laid plans can fail. Therefore, it’s also important to know how to make an insurance claim if you’ve experienced home damage. We will go over all of this and more below.
Preparing Your Home for a Storm
The absolute best way to protect your home from a storm is to know the weather before it happens. When it’s summer storm season, check your local forecasts often to know when big clouds and thunderstorms will be rolling in.
If a storm is headed your way, be sure and take everything that’s “loose” from your yard, deck, porch, and other outdoor areas inside. If you can’t move these items (for example, large lawn furniture or play equipment), make sure that it is at least secured so that it won’t blow away or become mangled.
Other things you’ll want to secure beforehand include any loose siding or shingles. Check fencing for weak spots or broken slats as well.
Lastly, make sure you know what your homeowner’s insurance plan will cover. Surprisingly, many homeowners are unaware of exactly what their insurance plan will take care of the event of storm damage. You should know your policy well, and if you don’t, make an appointment with an agent today to sit down and discuss your plan.
In all likelihood, your plan will not cover flooding, but it will cover storm damage caused by wind.
Making a Claim After Storm Damage
When your home is damaged in a storm, it’s important to know the proper claim-making process. Still, first things first: find out exactly what the timeline is for making claims after home damage. You may only have a short window to make your claim.
Either way, you’ll want to alert your insurance agency that damage was done to your home as soon as you can. Next, make sure to fix any severe problems right away — but not before taking pictures and/or video of the original damage.
Your insurance company will likely send an insurance adjuster out to your home to assess the damage. Be ready for this appointment, and also make sure that you have an inventory of everything in your home to show the adjuster. You’ll want to know everything that was damaged or destroyed so that you can get a proper payout promptly.
How to Hire a Contractor
Once your insurance adjuster has assessed the damage to your home, you’ll be able to start the contractor hiring process. Hiring a local contractor, has a good reputation, and who has insurance and a license is imperative at this time.
If you’re absolutely unsure who to hire, ask around. Friends, neighbors and family members may have suggestions. Of course, your insurance company may also be able to recommend a contractor they’ve worked with in the past who has done a good job.
Most of all, for insurance needs, you’ll need to get a written estimate from the contractors you interview. Estimates should not cost you a thing.
Finally, as a side note, make sure to avoid storm chasers. These are dishonest contractors who prey on people in areas where big storm have recently hit. They are often unlicensed and will ask for money up front, but they will not do a quality job on your home repairs.
Frydach Insurance can help you and your family with your homeowner’s insurance needs. Contact us today by phone, or stop into our office for more information about our homeowner’s policies.