According to ImproveNet, if a home's exterior is damaged during a wind, hail, or another type of nasty storm, the average homeowner can expect to pay around $5,757 to restore their home's appearance. One of the most trying aspects of repairing your home's exterior after a storm is often dealing with the insurance company.
Mishandling your insurance claim can not only delay your home's repairs, but it can also even result in having to pay out of pocket to fix your exterior. Here are a few dos and don'ts to remember when filing a homeowner's insurance claim after a nasty storm.
Do Read Your Insurance Policy
Carefully read over your insurance policy to determine what is covered and how much coverage you have. This will help you determine how much you will need to pay out of pocket for the repairs, if your policy doesn't cover certain repairs, or if the coverage isn't enough to pay for the entire repair. Many insurance companies require homeowners to purchase separate flood coverage. If the storm caused flooding and you do not have a separate policy, you will need to pay for the entire repair to your home's interior and exterior.
Also, if the damage is minimal, check your deductible. For example, if your deductible is $1000 but you only have $500 in damage, it is best to pay for the repairs yourself. In addition to saving you money, you won't need to deal with the hassle of talking with your insurance provider.
Do Contact a Contractor to Assess the Damage
Before you file a claim, check every square inch of your home's exterior and note any damage. Write down the specific damage and snap several photos. Contact a contractor who specializes in home exterior damage repair. The contractor will supply you with a report you can then take to your insurance provider.
The more proof you have that damage occurred after a storm, the more likely your insurance provider will approve your claim. In addition to providing better proof for your insurance company, the damage contractor can give you an estimate of how much the repairs will cost. This can help you determine whether your insurance policy will cover the entire cost of exterior home repairs.
Don't Put Off Calling Your Insurance Provider
After you've thoroughly read your insurance policy and had a damage restoration professional assess the damage to your home, it is time to contact your insurance provider. Avoid waiting too long before making the phone call. Most homeowner's insurance providers only allow a short period of time after the storm damage occurred to file a claim.
Provide the insurance adjuster with specific details about the damage and let them know you've had a professional inspection performed. When the adjuster visits, ask your damage restoration professional to be there to answer any questions. Your contractor will point out damage the adjuster might miss, which will strengthen your claim and ensure that any damage the adjuster didn't notice won't go unrepaired.
Don't Feel Obligated to Use a Contractor Recommended by Your Insurance Provider
Finally, chances are that your insurance provider will recommend several contractors in your area to perform the repairs. Unfortunately, many of these contractors won't specialize in exterior damage repair, which requires specialized skills, tools, and knowledge. Instead, choose your own damage restoration professional to perform the repairs.
A well-established damage restoration professional will expertly locate and repair any damage much more quickly than your typical contractor because they are specially trained to deal with storm damage.
From researching and hiring your own damage restoration professional to understanding your homeowner's insurance policy, when it comes to dealing with your insurance provider after a storm, there are several dos and don'ts to keep in mind. Talk to a company such as Select Exteriors to learn more.