Written By: Christy Neilson
We have had a pretty low key summer until this past Tuesday when storms hit the area taking down trees, flooding streets and raising havoc on personal property. We are not often hit with this kind of damage, so what do you do when bad weather rolls in and affects you personally?
Listed below are a few tips to get the cleanup process headed in the right direction with less headaches down the road. To learn more the Minnesota Department of Commerce has an extended list at https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/your-home/protect/dic/.
1.) Record the Damage
Take pictures and video. Make a detailed list of what was damaged, and do not dispose of anything until an adjuster visits your property.
2.) Make temporary repairs yourself or hire a licensed professional to prevent further damage
These repairs may include boarding up windows or covering exposed roofs and other structures with tarps so damage can be minimized. Keep receipts of materials purchased so you can be reimbursed by your insurance provider. By all means do not try to fix anything close to electrical wires or areas that are not structurally sound.
3.) Notify your insurance company right away if the damage is significant enough to warrant a claim
Many companies provide free estimates so if the damage is small enough where it does not surpass your deductible, it may be wise to know the cost to fix the damage prior to calling it in to your insurance company. You do not want to call in a claim just to see what the cost may be, because It could affect your premiums down the road.
4.) Avoid storm chasers
Storm chasers are also known as door knockers. They are quick to say you have damage and typically want you to sign a contract on site. They travel the country looking for opportunities. It is best to stick with a local, licensed, insured and bonded company. Typically companies such as these are not high pressure, provide free estimates and have the resources and programs in place to work with your insurance company should it become a claim.
5.) As a homeowner you always have the final say in who you use to restore your property
Ask for referrals from neighbors and your insurance agent. Check out companies online, but do your research, and make sure they have a local physical address listed on their website. Check reviews and ask for references on previous jobs and make sure everything is in writing.