Understand Insurance When Disaster Strikes
When disaster strikes, depending on the type of disaster, you may need storm damage, water damage, fire damage or wind damage restoration.
If you experience a loss, you should contact your insurance adjuster immediately to report property damage.
Your insurance company may recommend a preferred contractor. As a homeowner and policy owner, you have the lawful right to hire your own restoration company. Insurance companies cannot cause any consumer’s rates to increase on a homeowner policy based on who they chose to work for them.
If you live in an area prone to flooding, you most likely have flood insurance. Floods are the most common natural disaster, affecting more homes than any other type of disaster. Floods can cause many kinds of damage. Mold is the most prominent damage following a flood, and worsens over time, if not professionally handled.
Floods can shift or damage natural gas lines, which may result in fire if exposed to a flame or spark. Chemicals or salt water (in coastal floods) can cause corrosion to wiring and other metals, and ruin equipment.
Floods can also cause foundations to shift, settle or separate. This can cause structural damage to walls and floors. Rushing floodwater can cause wash-out of soil and expose foundation footings.
Here is some information to consider after filing a claim with your insurance company:
- Begin cleanup, salvage, and drying as soon as possible. Do not wait for adjuster.
- Take photos for use as an inventory.
- Clean house so the adjuster can see the damage.
- Keep damaged materials for proof of loss.
- Leave a phone number where you can be reached when the adjuster arrives.
- The flood insurance adjuster will assess damages to the house. The owner should sign a proof of loss statement. Additional damage can be added when found.
- Contact governmental offices for more information.
Once cleanup is finished and insurance claims are handled you will be able to focus on restoring your home to new condition.