How to Handle the Insurance Claims Process after Residential Storm Damage
Blog Summary: In addition to providing storm damage restoration services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto helps clients work through filing an insurance claim for the damage.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto knows the importance of providing a rapid response 24/7, 365 days a year when a storm damage disaster disrupts life in the home. Although modern advances in weather prediction technology have narrowed the risk hazard of severe storms, storms and the damage they can cause are still unpredictable. One house survives a passing cloud burst with barely a shingle missing, while the house next door suffers extensive storm and water damage from a toppled tree.
Roof damage is costly to repair. If the damage resulted in a water intrusion, the cost of roof and water damage repairs could be astronomical. Roof repair should be done immediately. To expedite the cleanup and restoration process, SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers tips for Redwood City, CA, homeowners filing insurance claims for storm damage.
Tips for dealing with storm damage
- From the safety of the ground, inspect the roof for visible signs of damage. Shingles strewn across the roof and lawn indicate trouble. The first sign of damage may have been water dripping from the ceiling.
- Enlist the services of a locally owned and operated storm and water damage restoration company to begin the cleanup and restoration. If needed, emergency tarping is immediately installed to mitigate the water intrusion at its source.
- Initiate contact with a local, reputable roofing contractor to conduct a structural inspection of the roofing system to determine the full extent of the damage.
- With the utmost safety and precaution, personally document the damage. Pictures, notes, and video allow the homeowner to be thorough and precise. This documentation will be instrumental in the insurance claims process.
- If contact has not already been initiated, reach out to the insurance company to report a claim. When SERVPRO of Palo Alto is involved in the cleanup and restoration process, they can handle the claims process from beginning to end.
Tips for dealing with insurance claims related to storm damage
The recovery and reconstruction process after storm damage can be as challenging as a new build project or a major renovation. Homeowners insurance is often the financial vehicle that makes storm damage cleanup and restoration possible. Listed below are tips to help homeowners who are filing an insurance claim for storm damage.
- A homeowners policy typically does not cover all types of water damage. The water damage must originate from a source inside the home or from an opening created by the storm. Examples of what may be covered include an overflow from a washing machine or a water intrusion from a roof damaged during a storm.
- Water damage caused from outside the home is usually not covered by home insurance. Damage from flood water or a broken water main falls outside the scope of a typical policy. Damage from water entering the home through a manufactured opening such as a skylight may not be covered.
- Consult with an insurance agent regarding any gaps in coverage and the benefits of adding flood insurance to the homeowner’s policy.
- A denied water or flood damage claim may qualify for government assistance through agencies such as FEMA. If the Federal government declares the area a federal disaster area, FEMA may provide disaster relief. Seek advice from an insurance professional to work through the FEMA application process.
- Save money with a common loss deductible when storm damage affects vehicles, clothes in the basement, or a boat in the yard. A common loss deductible reduces the amount the homeowner must satisfy on multiple claims as long as the damage arises from a single storm or disaster.
- A homeowner is responsible for storm damages to their own home even if the neighbor’s fallen tree caused the damage. If the neighbor’s tree was diseased, dying, or dead before the storm, the owner of the tree may be responsible for the damages caused by the fallen tree.
- To receive reimbursement for temporary living arrangements after storm damage, the damaged home must be “unfit to live in.” The house must be so damaged that it is unsafe for anyone to live in the structure. The insurance claims department usually makes these determinations on a case-by-case basis.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto can handle the entire storm damage restoration process, including emergency tarping, water removal, mold mitigation, and restoration. The team can also navigate the complex insurance claims process from start to finish.
For more information about storm damage restoration in Redwood City, CA, and the surrounding area, email SERVPRO of Palo Alto at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com or call (650) 800-3448.