Everything You Need To Know About Tornado Damage Insurance Claims
Tornadoes can occur in many parts of Texas. Most homeowners will go their entire lives without ever having to worry about tornado damage.
Nevertheless, every year, thousands of homeowners across America have to file tornado damage insurance claims. Today, we’re going to clarify the process for you and explain the most important things you need to know when filing a tornado damage insurance claim.
Start By Calling Your Insurance Company To Report The Claim
Your first step after suffering tornado damage is to contact your insurance company to report the claim. Send notice of the claim in writing – like by mail, fax, or email. This notice should include a written description of the incident and any damage that occurred.
Some insurance companies will tell you that written notice isn’t necessary. However, many public adjusters will tell you to file a written notice anyway.
Ask for an advance from your insurance company. They may provide an instant cash advance that lets you begin to make emergency repairs to your home. This is most common when a homeowner has suffered significant property damage. Remember to keep all your receipts. You could expect to receive somewhere between $1,500 and $5,000 on your cash advance depending on the severity of your damage.
Read Your Policy To See If It Covers Living Expenses
If a tornado has damaged your home, then your home may be unlivable. In this situation, check your insurance policy and read through it thoroughly to see if it covers living expenses for you and your family.
Many insurance policies will pay for any expenses your family incurs while living elsewhere after your home has experienced damage.
If you’re in doubt about whether or not your policy covers living expenses, then contact your insurer. If you don’t like the answer your insurer gave you, and you want to be doubly sure about your insurance policy, then consider contacting a public adjuster.
Take Time To Record Damage Before Cleaning Up
Immediately after a disaster, your natural instinct is to start cleaning up and repairing whatever you can.
You need to resist that temptation for at least a little bit: take time to record the damage. Take pictures of all damage on the inside and outside of your home. No damage is too insignificant to report. It’s better to take a picture now and not need it later, then to forget to take a picture now and need it later.
While recording damage around your home, be sure to take an inventory of the damage as well as the contents of your home. Make a list of everything that was damaged of your home, and accompany that inventory with pictures to reinforce your claim.
Above all, remember to not throw out anything until you’ve taken a picture of it, or until your insurance adjuster has looked at it. Otherwise, you might be in a situation where your insurance adjuster doesn’t believe you actually owned a 56-inch TV that was damaged in the tornado.
Take Immediate Action To Avoid Further Damage To Your Property
After a tornado, your property won’t be able to withstand much more damage. However, you should still make a decent effort to prevent further damage to your property.
If there’s a hole in your roof caused by the tornado, for example, then put a tarp over it until you can make permanent repairs.
Why would you do this? Well, your insurance policy likely has a clause that requires you to mitigate any damage to the property. You can’t just watch as water flows into your home after a storm. Fortunately, your insurance agency will likely pay or reimburse you for these temporary repairs.
Work With Your Insurance Company And Keep Everything In Writing
Over the next few days and weeks, work with your insurance company and demand frequent updates.
Keep everything in writing (email is fine). As long as you have a paper trail and a permanent record of your communications, you’ll have evidence to support any future disputed claims –which is helpful if you need to work with a public adjuster in the near future.
Tornadoes are some of nature’s most destructive forces. By following the tips above, you can ensure tornado damage only ruins your home – and doesn’t ruin your life. For help with a tornado damage insurance claim in Texas from an expert claims adjuster, contact ClaimsMate today.