What to Do If Your Home Has Water Damage from a Hurricane – Our Guide
Hurricanes, floods, and other storm surges can be devastating for your home and your wallet. Most are unprotected by flood insurance as standard insurance policies don’t shoulder the damages from natural disasters, leaving homeowners with a worn-down property and large out-of-pocket costs.
Hurricane Florence alone demands a whopping $22 billion for property damage expenses, which emphasizes the importance of acquiring insurance claims to save you the trouble of covering for house repairs on top of the emotional toll. This begs the question, what do you do next when a natural calamity hits your home?
Flood insurance can cover up to $250,000 worth of repairs for the property of a single-family home, while an extra $100,000 is given for personal possessions. It’s a different policy from typical homeowners or renters insurance as it is run by a separate insurer called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
On that note, homes set in high-risk flood area are required by law to purchase flood insurance, though buying for moderate- to the low-risk areas are highly recommended for the benefit of your future needs. With that in mind, you can file for claims by following the steps below:
Step #1: Document the Damage
Before anything else, be sure that your home is safe to enter before proceeding with the documentation. Once you’re sure that it is no longer a highly hazardous zone, take your time photographing the damages in every possible angle before you hire a clean-up crew to remove the leftover debris and flood.
This is a crucial step as it will serve as your proof for making an insurance claim. Additionally, it will help you in cases where a contractor tries to take advantage of the charges for the damages or if an insurer clashes with your claims.
Step #2: File for Insurance Claims as Soon as Possible
When dealing with the aftermaths of a hurricane, it’s best to initiate your claim sooner rather than later as there are tens of thousands of victims who will also file for a claim. Include the full documentation of your property’s damages and ask which insurance it falls under. After all, there are different policies to note.
Wind damages, for instance, will fall under the homeowner’s insurance policy. Damages from regional floods, on the other hand, will be covered by your flood insurance policy. With that in mind, filing for insurance as soon as possible will ensure that the insurers have the time to assess your situation and get you started with the repairing process of hiring contractors.
Ask Your Insurer Agent for Contractor Referrals
Finding the right contractor can be a daunting process, but you can fast-track it by asking referrals from your insurance company. They typically have a list of contractors on-hand, which will be favorable on your part as you can have peace of mind knowing that the recommendations will be reliable. Don’t forget to ask the insurer to sign a guarantee on the contactor’s work in cases wherein the initial repairs are not up to par with what was promised.
Dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters can be devastating for anyone. Preparing for the repair projects, scouting for the right contractors, and the process that follows can be time-consuming. Taking the extra mile to search your options, however, will be worth your time for the benefit of your home and family’s safety down the line.
If you’re looking to fix your water damaged home in Wilmington NC, get in touch with us to see how we can help.