Many homeowners are unclear about what their homeowner’s insurance policy covers when it comes to storm damage.
Below, we’ll discuss the basics of what you should expect your policy to cover. We’ll also outline the correct actions to take directly after a storm that causes damage to your home.
What Storm Damage Will Most Homeowners Policies Cover?
All homeowners insurance policies are different. Therefore, you should always read your policy carefully. That way, you can understand exactly what’s covered and what’s not.
Most policies should be fairly simple to read on your own. However, if you have any questions or concerns about your coverage, never hesitate to speak with your agent.
Whether it’s a tornado or just a large summer storm, most storm-related damage is caused by wind. Fortunately, wind damage is also what most home insurance policies cover. (Remember that standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding.)
In addition to wind-specific damage (such as blown off shingles), homeowners insurance may also cover other damage. This includes power surges and lightning strikes, hail, ice and water damage, and fallen tree damage.
For example, if a tree limb falls on your roof and causes a whole that rain then gets into (causing more damage), this may be a covered event. Again, you should always check with your specific policy.
What Should You Do After a Storm That Causes Damage to Your Home?
It’s important to take action right away after a storm causes damage to your home.
First, contact your insurance agent. Let them know you’ve experienced damage to your home, and you’ll need to make a claim.
It’s always a good idea to take pictures and video of the damage for your records. Your insurance adjuster may want to use this information. Additionally, you should never throw away items that were damaged until your claim has been completed.
At this point, it’s time to hire a contractor. In the Big Bend area, there are many local contractors to choose from. It is always recommended that you choose a local contractor as opposed to what’s called a “storm chaser.”
Many people don’t know about storm chasers — especially if they’ve never experienced storm damage. Essentially, storm chasers are unreliable contractors who follow storms. After one that’s caused a lot of damage in one area, they’ll go door-to-door selling their services.
These services usually come with too-good-to-be-true prices for the repairs you need. Once they’ve done their shoddy repair work, they’ll be out of the area before you even know what’s happened.
These so-called contractors have harmed many homeowners in the Big Bend area. To avoid them, always go with an insurance company-recommended contractor.
The contractor you choose should be licensed, insured, and reputable. Make sure they’ll give you a written estimate of their work.
Avoid Storm Damage in the First Place
As a final note, remember that the best thing you can do for your home and your finances is to prevent storm damage in the first place. This can be done by taking the following actions:
- Invest in shutters for your windows
- Remove broken or weak tree limbs near your home
- Clean your gutters regularly
- Repair loose shingles and siding
- Take in decorations and lawn furniture, etc. before big storms
- Ensure a working sump pump in your basement
Do you have questions about your homeowner’s policy? Are you looking for new home insurance?
While there are many large enterprise insurance agencies in Milwaukee, only Smith Insurance and Financial Services offer you the small town, personalized service you’ve been looking for.
We’re always here to help. Give us a call today or stop in our office at your convenience.