Though our homes do carry a quantifiable value, many of us tend to think of them as priceless. They are the centerpieces of our lives. They are where our families grow and spend time together. Because our homes are so precious, most people protect their assets with homeowners insurance. But homeowners insurance isn’t necessarily a layer of protection from every imaginable threat, waiting to compensate you for damage mere minutes after a storm has passed. Remember to keep the following in mind to make sure that your home is protected from heavy storms, hail, tornadoes, flood damage, and more.
Know What You’re Signing
Unfortunately, not all homeowners insurance policies were created equal. Insurance needs to accommodate people from a wide range of financial situations, and some policies don’t adequately protect homeowners from every type of weather-related damage. The first step towards protecting your home is thoroughly understanding your policy before you sign on the dotted line.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but most people in the modern age sign documents or agree to terms and conditions without ever reading them! Just think about anytime you’ve used software or an online service that requires the acceptance of terms and conditions. As they say, the devil is always in the details.
Document the Damage as Best as Possible
Fortunately, we live in the digital age and we have the unprecedented ability to document events with our smartphones. Not only can we snap high quality images in the blink of an eye,
but we can even capture video content. Remember, it is absolutely critical to document the damage to your home before trying to clean up. For example, it’s fairly common for stray tree limbs to cause damage to roofs and windows during a heavy storm. However, you’ll want to make sure that you document the damage before trying make repairs – even before you attempt to remove the tree or clean up debris. That said, you do want to cover any holes in your windows or roof as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. Also, try to hang on to any damaged items (instead of throwing them away) until the adjuster has the opportunity to pay you a visit.
Make a Claim as Soon as Possible
Though you probably have ample time to make a claim, you’ll want to double check your policy to make certain what the time limit is. Furthermore, you need to understand that receiving compensation from insurance is a process. It could take days, even weeks, before you are compensated for the damage to your home. You’ll want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible to shorten the window between making a claim and receiving compensation. Lastly, remember that you need to be persistent. After a large storm, your insurance provider could be swamped with claims. If you can’t reach them by telephone on your first try, keep calling back and remember to use every communication method at your disposal (e.g. email, online web forms, etc.).