When Mother Nature rears her ugly head, violent storms can tear apart homes, families, and neighborhoods. Being the victim of a violent storm can be a terrifying experience. From hurricanes, torrential rain, wind, or hail, violent storms can occur anytime at nearly anywhere in the country.
Without adequate coverage, storm damage can leave you with no way to pay for repairs to your home. Unfortunately for many, this means they are still making mortgage payments on a destroyed home. To avoid this situation, it is crucial to carry adequate storm insurance for your area.
Review your Policy to ensure that you are covered by damage caused by wind, rain, falling debris, and more. You should review your homeowner’s policy each year and if necessary, talk with your agent to add this coverage to your policy.
Flood damage is a completely separate area of coverage and is not covered by basic home insurance. To provide adequate coverage for flooding as a result of a severe storm, you will need a separate policy.
Prepare your home before the storm hits. Taking precautions early can save trouble later. Install storm shutters or cover windows to prevent windows from breaking. Check for loose siding on your home and secure it if necessary. Ensure that all siding is sealed from the outside to avoid water damage seeping into your walls. Before evacuating turn off all of the utilities and disconnect electrical items to prevent any additional fire hazards
Keep emergency supplies on hand and easy to grab at a moment’s notice. While Mother Nature can rip apart a home, you should be prepared to protect yourself and your family. Canned food items, bottled water, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, two way radios, sheets and blankets, plenty of winter clothing, essential prescription drugs and emergency cash are just a few of the items that should be kept together in a backpack or box that is easy to access when necessary.
During a violent storm, the outside of the home is most susceptible to damage. However, personal belongings inside the home are also at risk. If a window is shattered, the entire home is now open to damage. Because of this, completing a current home inventory is crucial. Document your personal possessions by taking pictures or video of your items include receipts, and specification information where possible for each item including clothing, jewelry, furniture, electronics, etc. This process will make filing a home insurance claim simpler, and expedite the claims process.
After the storm, it is important to file your claim as soon as possible. The earlier you file a claim, the faster it will be processed. Never delay filing a claim with the insurance company. Contact your agent immediately and have all necessary paperwork available as soon as possible.
While waiting for the claims process, make minor repairs to prevent further damage. If necessary, fix a window, mend a leak, and avoid throwing away damaged property until the insurance adjuster has had a chance to inspect it.