It’s June, and that means storm season in Wisconsin.
While residents in the DePere area undoubtedly hope that no damage befalls their homes during the summer storm season, sometimes, hoping is simply not enough.
If you experience home damage after a storm this year, here’s what you need to do to remedy the damage and avoid it happening again.
Recovering Your Home After a Storm
Various types of damage may occur after the usual types of storms that hit your area. It’s possible your homeowner’s policy covers damage caused by lightning, hail, and wind, for example.
Most notably, wind damage is nearly always covered by homeowners insurance. So, for example, if shingles were blown off your roof or a tree branch fell on your garage because of wind, this will most likely be covered by your insurance policy.
Of course, you’ll also always need to review your policy closely and speak with an agent to ensure coverage and file a claim. Appropriate claim-filing steps must be taken within a certain time period, so don’t wait to take this action once you’re aware of any serious storm damage to your home.
It’s also important to remember that your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover any damage caused by flooding after a storm.
Being Aware of “Storm Chasers”
It may be hard to believe, but there are actually contractors out there who take advantage of homeowners who have had damage done to their homes after a storm. Known colloquially as “storm chasers,” these so-called contractors will not do a good job on your repairs. However, because of their transient nature, they’ll be in and out before you can file a complaint about their haphazard work.
Hiring Reputable Contractors
When repairing your home after a storm, it is essential to only work with reputable contractors who are licensed and insured. You’ll also need to obtain a written estimate from your contractor before they begin work. Some homeowners prefer to interview several contractors in order to find the most suitable candidate with the best estimate.
It’s a good idea to work one-on-one with your insurance agent when shopping around for a contractor. They will likely be able to recommend someone they’ve worked with before, and a contractor who they know is reputable.
A good contractor should offer a written estimate that outlines the exact type of work that needs to be accomplished. The estimate should have detailed labor and material costs. Make sure you obtain written confirmation that they are licensed and insured as well. It’s also worth checking into the amount of liability insurance they have. Finally, get an estimate of how long it will take to complete the job.
Preventing Future Damage
By contract, you must protect your property from storm damage. Because wind is often the biggest culprit, this means fastening down the loose siding, shingles, fence posts, etc.
It also means keeping your gutters clear of debris. You should ensure a clear path where water can flow away from your home. Remember that flood damage is not included in homeowners insurance. Still, it’s a good idea to have a working sump pump and preparations to prevent flooding.
If you have homeowners insurance but have never had to file a claim, you may not be aware of the procedure. Because there are time limits in place when it comes to claim-filing, make sure you familiarize yourself with the procedure now. You’ll want to do this before a storm hits and causes damage.
Speak with an agent at Van De Hey Insurance today to learn more about claim-filing and our comprehensive home insurance options.