Are you dealing with storm damage? Last winter and spring brought severe storms to our community, and as we start summer 2019, severe weather, including thunderstorms, tornados, and flooding, continues to sweep across the nation. If your home has been damaged, getting repairs quickly is essential to protecting your home and your family from further problems like water damage and impaired security. Your homeowner’s insurance should cover the cost of your repairs, but when should you file your insurance claim.
Contact your agent right away.
In general, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the damage occurs. Some insurance companies and plans have time limits on the amount of time that can pass between damage and your claim. Talking to your insurance agent right away can help you get the information you need on their processes and procedures to ensure you meet their deadlines and get the coverage you’ve been paying for.
What if I didn’t notice the damage?
After a winter storm, you might not make it outside right away to examine your home for damage. Or maybe the winds were so strong that they blew debris like roof shingles right out of your yard. There are plenty of reasons why you might not notice storm damage. You should still reach out to your insurance agent as soon as you see the damage, even if you haven’t had a storm for months.
Why do I need to submit a claim right away?
The process of filing a claim and getting the money you need repairs can take some time. You might need to follow up with your insurance agent or schedule multiple home visits. You might even need to dispute the decision on your claim.
All these factors delay the start of your repairs, which makes your home vulnerable to additional damage. For example, if your roof is damaged, you may develop a leak. Water damage can be hard to detect in its early stages, but eventually damp spots, mold, and rot set in, increasing the amount of repairs needed to restore your home.
What should I do when I identify storm damage?
First, call your insurance agent and find out what your policy requires you to do regarding storm damage.
Second, call a trusted local contractor like The Trusted Vets to inspect your property for damage and provide a quote for the necessary repairs. If your home needs emergency repairs, take pictures of the damage and have the repairs completed to protect your property from additional damage. Keep records of the emergency repairs, including quotes, receipts, and pictures.
When you file your claim, make sure to complete the form thoroughly and include as much supplemental information as possible to demonstrate the need for repairs. If you need to dispute your claim, stay calm and contact The Trusted Vets to help you provide the necessary evidence of the storm damage.
Is it ever too late to file a claim?
Depending on your homeowner’s insurance policy, you may have up to two years or even longer to file a claim. However, the longer you delay your claim, the more complicated the process is likely to, and your risk of a denial or dispute increases.
You invest in homeowners insurance to protect your home from damage. While no one wants to deal with storm damage or making a claim on their insurance, that’s why you have it.