It’s an inevitability living in North Texas. At some point, powerful thunderstorms with damaging winds, big hail, and perhaps even tornadoes, will leave their lasting mark in the form of damage to property.
If there is damage done to your property, there are steps you need to take to make sure you can quickly get on the path to getting things back to the way they were.
1. Assess the Damage - After the storm has left the area and it’s safe to go outside, grab your camera or your smartphone. Be sure to have on good, sturdy shoes! Take pictures and/or video of any storm damage you see on your property. Make note of the date and time the damage occurred. Be mindful of and stay away from down power lines and damaged gas meters.
2. Temporarily Fix What You Can – Don’t wait for help to come. If it is safe to do so, make temporary repairs with tarps and/or plywood.
3. Call Your Insurance Company or Agent ASAP – Get in touch with your insurance agent or insurer as soon as you possibly can. Find out what steps they want you to take going forward. Disreputable contractors and repair crews may show up at your door. Talk with your insurance company before agreeing to ANY work … and certainly don’t pay for anything before having that conversation.
4. Know What’s Covered – Your insurance policy likely covers three major aspects … weather damage (hail, wind, tornado, etc.), non-weather events (theft, vandalism, etc.), and sudden/accidental acts (water line break, etc.). But flooding is most likely NOT covered. A separate flood insurance policy is needed to cover floods.
5. Save Receipts – Paperwork is crucial as you go through an insurance claim. Save all paperwork and all receipts. The majority of expenses incurred with storm damage claims are reimbursable.
6. Ask for Help – Don’t feel like you’re on an island and have to deal with all of this yourself. Your insurance agent or insurance company is there to help you as you go through the process. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to your insurance company. If you still feel like you’re not getting the answers you need, elevate your concern with your insurance company.