In a previous post we wrote about the importance of researching and communicating with post-storm door-to-door contractors. Making sure the company you select is local and using the best, safe practices will save you from later stress by preventing potential problems. But what about your insurance company?.
Where to Start
After a storm hits, many homeowners aren’t sure where to begin. Before contacting your insurance company, you’ll want to take the time for an assessment by someone who knows your home best – yourself! Though it may feel like you won’t know what to look for when it comes to damage, the homeowner is the one person who can spot even minor changes after a strong storm. Walk around your home to inspect the siding, trim, roofing, etc., and take photos and detailed notes of your findings.
Even if you aren’t sure what you’re looking at or how it happened, you’ll be able to tell your insurance company generally what was caused by the storm. Examples: “My roof has something sticking up or looks like something is missing.” Or, “something blew off my house, I’m not sure what it is but I can see that something is missing.”
Filing a Claim
The second step is to contact your insurance company and file your claim. The insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect your home and provide an estimate for the damage, and you can begin the process of hiring a contractor.
While we all wish this process could be simple and quick, a big storm means that both insurance companies and contractors are busy with repairs throughout your city or town. This also means that your insurance company may not always have your best interest at heart, and you’ll want to find an experienced contractor who knows the insurance process and will set up their own inspection and work with the insurance company to help you get the most with your money. Be sure to share the info provided by the insurance company with your contractor.
Determining the Final Amount
It is important to remember that the estimate your insurance company gives you is just that – an estimate. It is up to you, the contractor you hire, and the insurance company to come together and determine the final price and what the insurance company will cover. Hiring a contractor with a strict estimate from the insurance company in mind might mean not getting a quality job that will last through the next big storm.