As a Wisconsin insurance agency, we don’t only work to make sure that our clients buy the right insurance. We also want to make certain our customers will minimize losses and maximize benefits when they need to make a claim because of storms or other covered hazards. We believe our clients take the first step towards protecting their property when they work with us to buy the best property insurance; however, it’s also important to learn about the right steps to take to quickly recover after storms happen.
Five Steps to Take to Recover After Storm Claims
Follow through with these storm-recovery steps to minimize damages and maximize benefits:
- Understand your policy: Typical homeowners policies cover wind damage but exclude floods. For example, your insurer should still compensate you for water damage if wind caused the problem that allowed water to enter your home in the first place. On the other hand, if you only had a flood because of snowmelt, you may need extra flood insurance. If you don’t understand your policy or worry you may not have adequate coverage, let your agent explain your choices to you. While homeowners generally need to buy separate flood insurance policies, in a very few parts of the country, they may also need to purchase windstorm insurance.
- Understand your responsibility: During and right after a storm, you should focus on safety. No matter how much you want to salvage your property, you should not reenter your property until you’re certain that it’s safe. Still, most policies obligate you to take reasonable steps to protect property from further damage. For instance, if you arrive home to find that the roof’s still leaking, you should protect or remove valuable property until the roofers finish their job. Your insurance company and agent can offer you guidance if you need it.
- Be wary of storm chasers: After major storms, unlicensed contractors may approach you with promises of fast work and low prices. Very often, they knock on doors and use high-pressure sales gimmicks to convince you to hire them. Sadly, you can find plenty of horror stories about these fly-by-night operators taking advantage of homeowners. Your insurance company may have a list of approved contractors you can use. If you choose to hire somebody else, research the business first by checking such sources as the Better Business Bureau or local review sites.
- Learn how to work with contractors: Reliable contracting firms should meet you to inspect the damage, prepare estimates, and work with your insurance company. Instead of paying them by signing over an insurance check, you should consider depositing the check in your bank account and paying with a credit card. If you have problems, you can call your credit card company and have charges reversed, but it’s much harder to get your money back if you hand over a check.
- Contact your insurance agent to file claims as rapidly as possible: As local insurance agents, we take our responsibility to our clients seriously. Contact your agent as soon as you can to begin filing a claim and getting instructions on how to proceed. Agents can file claims correctly and find the answers to the many questions that clients usually have after they have suffered storm damage.
Buy the Best Insurance From the Best Agents Before a Major Storm
Here at Little-Couch Insurance, helping you find the best coverage for your home or business is just the first step. You can also count on us to assist you during your claims process after a storm or other hazard. Call upon us today to enjoy peace of mind no matter what happens.