Your home is likely your most important life investment. As such, it’s important to keep it safe — even when inclement weather strikes.
What to Do After a Severe Storm Strikes Indianapolis and Causes Damage to Your Home
You wake up after a severe summer storm, only to realize your home has been badly damaged. Perhaps it’s a hole in your roof, a tree branch through your window or siding ripped off your garage. Whatever it is, it’s not something you can fix with a little elbow grease.
So, what do you do?
In general, you’ll want to follow the steps below.
1. Call Your Insurance Company.
Your home insurance company will want to know as soon as possible that there’s been damage to your home and you’ll need to start a claim. If you have a designated agent, give them a call, and explain your situation.
Follow your agent’s directions. They may need to send an adjuster out to your house for an in-person examination of your home’s current state. When this is the case, it’s imperative to not change the state of the damage by cleaning up or fixing things that do not immediately need to be fixed.
If there are things that need immediate temporary fixing (such as holes in the windows that need to be patched to prevent additional damage from rain or animals), do fix these things. It’s your responsibility as a policyholder.
2. When Looking for a Contractor, Stay Away from “Storm Chasers.”
We always recommend that homeowners choose contractors from their local area when fixing storm damage because after big storms, “storm chasers” are bound to be lurking nearby.
Typically, “storm chasers” follow big storms. They may follow them only around the Midwest, or they may follow them throughout the country. Regardless, these are swindling contractors who do shoddy work for low prices and are on their way again before you can raise your concern.
3. Hire a Reliable Contractor from the Indianapolis Area.
The good thing about hiring contractors from your local area is that it’s highly unlikely they’ll try to scam you as a “storm chaser” would. Local contractors want to ensure their good reputation throughout the area.
When choosing a contractor to perform your home’s repairs, you might consider speaking with your insurance agent about who they recommend. There are often preferred contractors that insurance companies like to work with, and in some cases, working with their preferred choice may get you a discount.
No matter how you choose a contractor, you need to get an estimate, and it should be a written estimate that you can take to your insurance agent for preapproval. Never sign on with a contractor and begin repairs before having the estimate approved by your insurance agent.
It’s also wise to hire a contractor with insurance. Ask for proof of liability insurance and the amount of liability insurance the contractor has. The best contractors have adequate insurance to protect both them and you in the event of an on-the-job injury or property damage.
4. Be Prepared Should Another Storm Hit.
Summer storms in the Indianapolis area can hit at any time. Be prepared for the next onslaught of inclement weather by fully understanding the ins and outs of your particular homeowner’s insurance policy. Remember that flooding is rarely covered by typical home insurance; however, wind damage is usually a covered event in most standard policies.
Allow our friendly and experienced agents at Binford Insurance to walk you through our comprehensive home insurance policies. We’re also here to answer all of your insurance- and storm damage-related questions and concerns. Call today for more information.