Spring storms are inevitable and severe weather is generally expected to start in April and last through the summer. These severe storms often bring damaging hail (a four-letter word in our business), wind, flooding, and even tornadoes. Unfortunately, these severe storms can be costly, but thank goodness you have insurance to help you repair the damage or rebuild from loss without catastrophic financial loss.
The first thing that we recommend is if you haven’t had a coverage review in a while, contact your Adams Insurance Advisors agent to make sure you have the proper amount of coverage. Even if you aren’t our customer, we’ll be happy to take a look at what you have and make recommendations.
Here are some other tips to make a recovery from storm damage a little simpler and affordable.
1. Take photos of the damage. If you need to make immediate repairs, take pictures BEFORE you repair the damage. Your insurance adjuster will want to see the images to adjust the claim.
2. Cover broken windows or holes in structures immediately to prevent further damage.
3. Keep receipts for the repairs you make. Receipts will be used by the adjuster to determine the amount of your claim reimbursement—this includes temporary repairs. You should also keep track of the time it takes you to make the repairs, as you may receive compensation for your time.
4. Wait until the storm season ends before filing a claim (if you can). If the immediate repairs you made are holding up and preventing further damage, or if the damage is cosmetic, consider waiting until the end of the storm season to save money on paying out deductibles. For every claim turned in, your deductible is applied.
5. Make sure to hire a contractor that is bonded and insured. It’s crucial to hire a contractor who is reputable and can stand by their work. Ask to see proof of their liability insurance. You can even call their agent to confirm that their coverage is in effect. Working with local contractors is best. Most insurance carriers allow up to 2 years to have repairs made to buildings, so it is worth the wait to have someone you know make repairs instead of an out-of-town contractor.
6. Never give a contractor a deposit without a written estimate, including all costs, schedules, and guarantees. If the contractor wants payment for supplies, go to the supplier and purchase them directly instead of giving money to the contractor.
If you do need to file a claim, make sure to contact your AIA office. We can help you through the process and answer any questions you may have.