If you live in Blaine, you know that major storms can whip through the area at any time, but especially during the summer storm season.
With that season now upon us, it’s more important than ever to protect your home from damage. Of course, it’s also important to know what to do when your home is unavoidably damaged. In particular, you need to know how to make an insurance claim on your homeowner’s policy.
We will cover all of this and more in the following article.
How to Prevent Storm Damage
Before we discuss what to do after damage has already harmed your home, let’s talk about how to prevent damage.
Preparing your home for a storm can be done in both the long and short term. Long-term planning involves making repairs to siding, roofing, fencing, and more right away. When you avoid fixing hanging siding or loose shingles, for example, it’s likely that these will be the first things to fly off in a storm.
Additionally, make sure your basement is prepared for possible flooding. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding damage as a rule. However, it’s in your best interest to make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris.
You should also have a strong, non-leaking foundation. Your basement sump pump should work properly. Finally, ensure that water flows far from your home through your gutter system.
In the short-term, make sure you are aware when a storm is going to hit. While you have time, take in outdoor furniture and things that might blow away or become damaged. Put your vehicles, bikes, grill, and other valuable items in a safe location. Lastly, close your windows and shutters tightly.
Handling Storm Damage After It Happens
So you did your best to prepare your home for a storm, yet you’ll still need repairs after the fact.
When this happens, it is first of all important to contact your insurance agent. While you may not be able to file your claim yet officially, you’ll want to let them know as soon as possible that you’ve had damage to your home.
Next, look for a contractor you can trust in the Blaine area. The contractor you choose should:
- Be insured (ask for written documentation of this)
- Be licensed (again, ask for written documentation)
- Have experience with the kind of repairs you need
- Come personally to your home to evaluate the damage and provide a written estimate of their repairs
Watch Out for Storm Chasers
“Storm Chasers” are supposed contractors who know that serious storms can damage large amounts of homes. These dishonest and incapable “contractors” are looking to take advantage of this fact — and you.
They will stop by your door after a storm, promising a fast, job well-done for an unbeatable price. Often, they’ll ask for cash up front, saying they’ll be able to complete the job extremely quickly.
Whether they’ll actually complete the job at all or do a terrible quality job is up for debate. Typically, they’ll be uninsured, so if they or one of their workers is injured, they’ll be able to sue you.
All around, it’s important for residents to avoid these scammers altogether. If you’re truly unable to find a reputable contractor on your own, speak with your insurance agent to see who they’ve successfully worked with in the past.
While some homeowners may look to the Twin Cities for their insurance needs, remember that Patriot Insurance right here in Blaine has that local, personalized town touch you’ll appreciate.
Talk to one of our knowledgeable and courteous agents today by giving us a call or stopping into our office.