Steps to Take When a Hurricane Damages Your Homes
The last thing anyone wants to deal with is damage from a hurricane. To help you through the process of getting whole again, here are five steps to take when a hurricane damages your home.
Keep a Hard Copy of Your Insurance Policy
First, keep a hard copy of your insurance policy. If you have listened to my videos or been a client of mine, I preach keeping multiple copies of your insurance policy on hand. As much as I personally love keeping everything online, having a physical, hard copy of your insurance policy is a great idea. When a hurricane hits an area, the power most likely will be out for at least a little while. You may not be able to access your policy information if you have everything online and the batteries on your devices die.
Stop Any Further Damage
Second, stop any further damage to your home. As soon as it is safe to do so, take steps that you can to prevent further damage to your home. Actions to prevent further damage could include tarping your roof or boarding windows. Most importantly, wait until the storm passes to make these repairs. Do not try to make repairs during a storm.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Once the storm passes, call your insurance agent to discuss filing a claim. Depending on your deductible and the amount of damage, you may not need to file a claim. Should you have to file a claim, your agent can guide you through the claims process and answer any questions you may have.
Take Pictures of any Damage
Document any damage to your home and any steps you took to prevent further damage. You can do this by either taking pictures or a video and providing those to the insurance adjuster. Make a list of any personal property (TVs, appliances, computers, etc.) that was damaged in the storm as well.
Getting your property whole again could take weeks, months or even years if you have extensive damage. Keep a record of everything including conversations with your insurance company and insurance adjuster, receipts for items you replaced, invoices and estimates from contractors and receipts for hotel stays. You may need to refer back to this information and having it in one place will be helpful.
After the Hurricane...
With luck and some good weather patterns, I hope our area has an uneventful hurricane season. Should the worst happen, follow these steps to take when you have hurricane damage to your home to get yourself whole again.
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