If you ever find yourself caught in the middle of a storm, you’re likely not thinking about your insurance in the moment. You’re more than likely thinking about safety, as you should. After the storm, however, once the rain has stopped and the wind has settled, that’s when insurance comes to mind. You’re wondering whether your policy will handle the damage.
If you’ve never had to file an insurance claim, doing so may be a little confusing. After all, you know the insurance company wants to pay as little as possible. They’re in the business of saving themselves money. You need that compensation to pay for repairs and storm damage restoration. We’re here to guide you through the insurance claims process to make life a little easier.
The first step to filing an insurance claim is to locate your policy. Chances are, you have the paperwork filed somewhere in a cabinet or lockbox in the house. Or, it’s all digital and your insurance policy is available online. Either way, find it and read through everything.
Depending on the type of storm, your insurance policy may not cover all of the damage. For example, flood coverage must be purchased separately. Your average homeowners insurance policy does not cover flooding or even some types of water damage.
With a better understanding of your insurance policy, it’s time to call your insurance company. You should have an agent specifically tied to your account. Give them a call. You need to notify the insurance company about the recent damage and tell them you need to make a claim for the storm damage.
At this time, you’ll have to give your policy number, address, and explain the damage.
As we said, the insurance company is in the business of saving themselves money. They want to pay as little as possible to each claimant. That’s why, to receive your full coverage amount, you need proof.
Start by taking photographs or video of the losses around your home. Document the storm damage; broken windows, missing shingles, water damage, etc. Then, document your lost or broken possessions, too.
While it’s important that you don’t perform any permanent repairs to your home, you can start mitigating the damage. Take a moment to temporarily seal up a roof leak and remove any standing water from the home.
Now that the insurance company knows of the situation, they’ll send an insurance adjuster to your home to examine the damage firsthand. You need the most money possible to handle the repairs and restoration work, so be wary of their first offer and negotiate as is necessary.
At the same time, stay on top of the claim. The insurance company may drag their feet a bit. Don’t let that be the case.
In the event of storm damage, let Restoration 1 of Greater Minneapolis help deal with the damage and the insurance company. Give us a call at 612-268-1961 .
David Tynes is the general manager of Restoration of Greater Minneapolis. David has years of experience in home and commercial restoration, and he is certified as a restoration professional by the IICRC.