- Personal safety
Obviously, when disaster strikes, your personal safety is paramount, so the first thing to do in the immediate aftermath of a storm is to check how badly your home has been affected – and don’t go back inside unless you’re absolutely sure that it’s safe to do so.
- Contact your insurer
If your home has sustained some damage as a result of a storm, contact your insurer as soon as possible – don’t wait a few days. Many insurance companies offer 24 hour emergency help lines, which are perfect for this sort of situation. The emergency phone number should be easily found in your policy document; after all it’s in your insurer’s interest to inspect the damage as soon as they can.
- Do you have insurance cover?
If you have the standard type of home insurance for building and contents, there shouldn’t be a problem claiming for the worst effects of storm damage. Don’t presume that so-called ‘Acts of God’ are automatically excepted even if it says so in your policy – check with your insurer.
Ask your home insurance company what exactly you need to do in order to make a claim. It’s always a good idea to take photographs of the damage and also keep some proof (media coverage may suffice) of when and where the storm took place. Make a list of everything that is damaged, and if you’ve replaced any items or had any urgent repairs carried out, make sure you have before and after photos and have kept a detailed receipt.
- How is your claim assessed?
For more extensive (and therefore costly) claims, you may be sent a loss adjustor to assess the extent of the damage to your home and arrive at a claim sum. Loss adjusters are instructed by your insurers although they are usually independent professionals. Someone should be calling at your home within 3 days of your initial phone call, and they may arrange for any repairs needed.
If it’s up to you to instruct tradesmen and building companies, it is advisable to wait for the insurance inspection to be completed before you have any repair work carried out – and only go ahead when your insurers have given the OK.
- Contents claim
Damage to contents is usually dealt with more quickly than structural damage. If at all possible, keep the damaged items so the loss adjuster can see them first hand – don’t throw them away. This goes for furniture, carpets, kitchen contents, white goods and any other items that may have been ruined by storm, fire or flood water.
If your home has been so badly damaged by the storm that it has become uninhabitable, you may need to find temporary alternative accommodation – this is included in many home insurance policies.
- Clearing up and moving back in
Once your insurance claim is being processed and any structural damage dealt with professionally, it’s time to get your home back to normal. You might have to start with finding a company that specializes in water removal lake geneva based to help you remove any remaining floodwater as it can contain dangerous algae and other contaminants. This is why it is best to have the water removed quickly as this means you are able to start drying things out and clearing up to make your home safe to move back in. There are professional cleanup & restoration services in Boise, Idaho, or wherever is local to you, who can take care of most of this for you. Although, you may wish to carry out some aspects yourself.
- Get a professional to check that your utilities (gas, water, electricity) are safe.
- Remove any furniture, fixtures and fittings that have become damaged and clear away any debris.
- If your home suffered any flood, fire or smoke damage, it will need drying out and/or professional decontamination, which can take weeks or months.
- Finally, check your garden in case any trees or fences have fallen or become unstable.
Article provided by Sara Bryant, an independent content writer working alongside a selection of companies including MC Property Maintenance, who were consulted over this post.