What to do after your home suffers storm damage

In the aftermath of severe weather, you may become overwhelmed in determining what to do. Your home may have suffered severe property damage and the process to repair it can be long and costly.

After diligently paying your insurance premiums, your insurance provider should fairly reimburse you after a hurricane or other storm. However, you may encounter an insurer unfairly denying or delaying your claim. To do what you can to ensure a smooth process after your South Florida home endures storm damage, follow these steps:

Take pictures

When it’s safe to enter, take pictures of your home to document its state after the storm. This can be essential in proving the full extent of the damage from water, wind, fire or more immediately after the storm. Avoid making even minor attempts to clean up the damage before documenting exactly how the damage appeared.

File a claim as soon as possible

Start the process to file your claim immediately. This is important especially after a major storm where many other homeowners experienced similar damage. Send your insurer copies of the photos you took and give detailed descriptions of the damage. Proactively having a comprehensive inventory of your possessions can also be helpful to readily account for what suffered storm damage.

Depending on your insurance policies, you may need to file separate claims. For example, your homeowners insurance policy may only cover wind or fire damage while your flood insurance policy may only cover water damage. Ask your insurer what your policy covers to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Prevent further damage to your home

In the meantime, prevent further damage to your home. While you may need to make temporary or minor repairs for safety purposes, avoid substantially adjusting anything damaged by the storm until the insurance adjuster inspects the damage.

Get an independent damage evaluation

An insurance adjuster will likely come out to your home to assess the damage. After you receive an analysis of the damage, hire an independent professional to evaluate the damage. Then, compare the analyses. This can help to ensure a fair evaluation to account for the full extent of the damage.

Whether due to an overwhelming number of claims, tactics to underpay or delay your claim or more, the process to recover the coverage you need can be lengthy and frustrating. Take these steps to expedite the process and uncover the compensation you deserve.

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