Water damage, winter storms and spring thaws cause weather damage to your property. How do you file a claim due to that loss appropriately?
In 2015, winter storms led to about $3.5 billion in insured claim losses. Weather patterns shift, and increasingly, bring harsh conditions to areas that didn’t experience a severe level of weather activity previously. The good news is that most homes and businesses are properly insured and can receive coverage and compensation for losses through their insurance company.
Insurance Claims and Weather-Related Loss
Weather-related loss can occur in many ways. The most frequent causes of weather damage include:
- Water damage
- Sudden thaws leading to floods
- Roof damage
- Hail damage
- Fallen trees
- Freezing pipes
- Sewer backup
- Wind damage
- Displacement caused by power failure
Your insurance company should cover most of these types of weather damage. However, your insurance company does not typically cover flood damage. Thus, you need to look into obtaining national flood insurance in the future, and the FEMA website offers a great resource for research.
In the event of liability, your home insurance typically covers liability. One of your first steps should involve contacting your insurance company, even when you think you are not at fault. So, don’t try to resolve the issue yourself. You pay the insurance company to help you in times like these.
Your insurance company also has relationships with emergency contractors and clean-up experts who can step in to help you resolve the issue quickly and safely. ECOS Environmental has years of experience in doing just that. We can help you document the damage and repair through every step of the claim process.
Document and Prevent Further Damage
Waiting for the insurance company to step in? You still have a responsibility to prevent further damage to the property.
It’s normal to feel anxious and want to get started immediately. First, look around and access. Start taking photos, videos and notes about what you notice on your property. Where has damage occurred? What are the dates and times involved? What is the value of damaged materials and electronics in your home? Do you know the date of purchase? Keep track of receipts and records of any money spent.
The where, what, when and why becomes important as the insurance company reviews the claim. This scenario is where restoration and clean-up experts like ECOS Environmental really shine and offer support. When weather damage follows an emergency, our crews often reach the site faster than the insurance company can.
Keeping Up With Your Weather Damage Claim
Always contact your insurance company any time you notice weather damage or are accused of responsibility for damage to another’s property. Access and document the damage, gathering information. Additionally, keep a claim log about who you speak to regarding the damage, noting the status, date and time. Note every contact.
So, always check with your insurance provider before throwing out damaged items. Take photos before discarding if your municipality requires you to get rid of damaged materials for safety. This documentation process will also help you when it comes time to submit an inventory to the insurance company.
Sign up for text alerts from your insurance provider, so you can keep up with the status of your weather damage claim. This step will help you keep track of when an estimate becomes available or when a payment is issued.
Your home insurance policy should offer you the best possible coverage and support your best interests. Consequently, don’t take on extensive costs that you hold no responsibility for or cause more damage by resolving the issue yourself.
Always go through the proper channels. Contact ECOS Environmental to make sure every step in the claims and clean-up process is impeccably handled. You will come out on top safely, more informed and save more money.