For people living in the Tulsa area, storm damage is the most common reason for filing a homeowner’s insurance claim. Hopefully you never find yourself in that situation, but if you do, knowing a few things can save you money and make the claims process easier. Here are some important storm damage insurance tips.
1 – Photographs
Before a storm arises, photograph your home’s condition. This will help prove a storm caused damage and facilitate the claims process.
2 – Prompt Assessment
It’s important to inspect your home for damage as soon after a storm as is safely possible. There are two reasons for this. First, identifying problems quickly, especially roof damage, can prevent the damage from getting worse. Second, Tulsa insurance agents expect claims to be filed after major storms and the process is faster and less-likely to be contested. Also, many policies include a time limit for claims.
3 – Know What Your Homeowner’s Policy Covers
Generally speaking, most basic home insurance policies cover the following types of damage:
- Wind – This is a common cause of missing shingles and other roof damage.
- Tornados – Policies cover both minor damage from wind and flying debris all the way up to total loss.
- Hail – Large hail often damages roofs, windows and even a home’s structural components.
- Rain/Water – This is a tricky area. Without a specific flood policy, most policies won’t cover damage caused by water entering the home. However, in the case of heavy rain accompanied by strong winds, your policy should cover damage to your roof.
4 – Claims Process
Once you identify damage, consult a contractor for an assessment and estimate. This is usually free and will be required for the claim. Make sure the contractor supplies you with a detailed explanation of the damage as well as an itemized list of repair costs. Also, ask them to provide photo documentation of any damage they find.
5 – Should You Even File a Claim
Once you have an estimate from a contractor and a professional evaluation of the seriousness of the damage, it’s time to decide if a storm damage insurance claim makes the most sense. Weigh the cost of your deductible against the cost of the repairs. Also, keep in mind that multiple claims might increase your future deductible as well as your insurance rate.
There’s no way to totally prevent storm damage in Tulsa, but knowing the basics of storm damage insurance can make it less painful.