Storm damage/insurance claims – what should a homeowner do in the event of some kind of damage.
Southeastern Pennsylvania sees its fair share of rain, wind, and snowstorms and other severe weather events year round. Prolonged frigid temperatures in the winter and rainstorms followed by flash flooding in the summer can wreak havoc on homes and businesses and cause a range of serious problems that require an immediate response. Oftentimes, homeowners are overwhelmed by the emergency at hand and uncertain where to start. There are, however, certain preliminary steps they can, and should, take.
In extreme situations where poles and wires have come down or fire burns somewhere on your property, your first call should be to 911, who will ensure the right emergency responders arrive on the scene as quickly as possible. If the damage to your home or property does not require an immediate emergency response, your next call should be to your insurance provider. They will send a claims handler to your home to inspect the damage to your property and start to claims settlement process.
In the meantime, and assuming it is safe to do so, there are certain steps you can take to get started on the cleanup and repair process. Put your cell phone to another good use by taking pictures of the damaged area, including both the structure and your belongings. Photos from the immediate aftermath of a storm are helpful when making your insurance claim, as they document the damage and show it at its worst. Determine if you need to shut off water or electricity to certain parts of your home and take care of that. By now, the insurance claims handler should have arrived and seen all the damage and destruction that has occurred. Storm damage affects both personal belongings and the structure, so make sure both types of damage are well documented.
Make sure you have taken a complete inventory of everything that has been damaged and/or completely destroyed. Beyond replacing carpeting from a flood, you might need an entirely new floor because floodwaters sat on the original floor for hours and caused irreparable damage, such as warping of a subfloor. Or a tree crashed through your roof and now rainwater is running into your attic and causing further damage to that area.
The insurance handler will probably see the damage but might give you a low estimate for repairing it. Some claims adjusters are, in fact, paid to minimize a claim payout. After all, they work for the insurance company, not the homeowner. But homeowners should understand that they are not bound by the first estimate an adjuster gives, especially if the homeowner feels the estimate is too low. The homeowner has the choice of who they work with for repairing the damage to their home.
A reputable contractor will give you a fair estimate for repairing the parts of your home that suffered storm damage. A contractor you can trust will take the time to uncover the full extent of the damage and then prepare a detailed estimate of the costs to repair everything. Contractors will often negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of the homeowner to reach a fair and reasonable settlement – one that is usually higher than the first one the claims adjuster provided.
If your home or other property has suffered damage from wind, rain, snow, ice or some other storm event, contact a reliable and trustworthy contractor who will look at your property thoroughly to make sure everything that needs repair as a result of the damage gets covered and reimbursed by your insurance company. Steve Rush, the owner of Sovereign Construction Services, can be trusted to provide fair and reasonable repair and
renovation estimates. He will answer all your questions and address every concern you may have. He has years of experience in the home remodeling industry and is happy to help homeowners get back on their feet after
suffering the wrath of a storm.
Call Steve today at 610-639-2986