Plan for a natural disaster can help ease the stress and anxiety caused if your home is damaged by storms:
· Create an inventory of your personal possessions. Use a camera to take pictures or video of both the interior and exterior of your home as well as your property. Save in a safe place off premises.
· Keep your insurance policies organized and in an easily accessible spot. Review your coverages with your insurance agent regularly.
· Know your deadlines for filing claims.
· Carry your policy numbers and contact information for your insurance company with you at all times.
Repairing or rebuilding your home from storm damage:
· Contact your insurance adjuster immediately. You may be eligible for loss-of-use benefits. Document all conversations with your insurance company and their adjuster. Get promises for reimbursements in writing and keep all receipts.
· Document the damage to your property and possessions and create a detailed account of your belongings and losses.
· Make minor repairs that you can do safely to minimize further damage to your home. Beware of fly-by-night contractors who may try to offer these services for exorbitant fees. Be sure to get quotes in writing.
· Make permanent repairs only after approval from your insurance company.
· Read the fine print of any document you sign. Unscrupulous businesses will trick consumers into signing a work estimate without reading the fine print, which commits you to automatically contract with their business if your insurance claim is approved.
· Check to make sure any contractors is properly licensed with the city and registered with the BBB.
· Do not hand over an insurance check to a contractor for repairs prior to work being started. A good rule of thumb is to never give more than 1/3 of the job price up front and make sure that your insurance company has approved all repairs before your final payment to the business.
Better Business Bureau
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