The elements are almost always out of our control – and often there’s nothing you can do to prevent destruction at your property as a result of extreme adverse weather conditions.
You may not be able to prevent the incident from happening, but you can make sure you navigate the aftermath quickly, safely, and efficiently – with the help of one of our loss assessors, of course.
Here are the 6 steps you need to follow if a storm damages your home.
1. First and foremost, make sure you and everyone around you is safe
It can be tempting to enter your property right away to retrieve your valuables – but your biggest priority should be to keep everyone out of harm’s way. If you do decide to re-enter the property, be aware of typical hazards like broken glass, exposed nails, piles of debris, and walls and doors that may be close to collapse.
2. Assess the damage
Where it’s safe to do so, try to determine the extent of the problem. Take photographs of interior and exterior damage so you have evidence of what’s happened. If you can, capture things like broken windows and doors, missing or damaged siding, lifted roofs, broken appliances, moisture damage, and/or active flooding at your premises. Make a note of the contents of your home that have been affected, too, as personal belongings may be covered by your policy. Don’t throw any damaged items away, as you will likely need to show them to your insurer so they can arrange to replace them.
3. Call your insurer
With your policy details to hand, call your insurance company to inform them of the damage and open your claim. Provide them with as much detail as you can, and familiarise yourself with what your policy covers. Make sure you record their responses to your questions for future reference, as it’s easy to forget or misinterpret a conversation when you’re in a state of shock.
4. Appoint a loss assessor as soon as possible
Ideally, you should contact an independent loss assessor as soon as you have spoken to your insurance provider. It’s much harder to reopen a minimised claim further down the track – plus, you’ll want somebody impartial in your corner who can guide you through the claims process and collaborate with you and your insurer to help you take care of more practical matters, such as:
- How you’re going to remove trees, branches, excess water, or other debris from your property
- Where you’re going to live while your property is safeguarded, and the remedial works are taking place
- How you’re going to continue with your commercial operations if the property in question is home to your business
5. Do what you can to protect your property against further damage
Under your insurer’s advice, and as long as it won’t put you or other people in danger, take steps to prevent further damage from occurring to your premises. Your insurer may be able to recommend local tradespeople who can assist you with this.
You can always ask your loss assessor for trusted contacts, too. He or she will be happy to step in and help you manage the clean-up.
6. Get organised
It’s vital to collect and keep any paperwork relating to your claim. This includes receipts for materials and labour, which can be reviewed to ensure you receive a fair reimbursement not just for the storm damage itself, but all the repairs and replacements that need to take place to get your property back to pre-loss condition. Your independent loss assessor will be able to advise you further on which documents need to be retained and reviewed as part of the claims process.
If you find yourself having to deal with extreme weather damage, make sure you call the team here at Your Claim in the first instance. We have dealt with countless claims of this nature, and most of our storm damage claim validations and building repair services are offered with no extra fees. Normally, the only bill you’ll be liable for is your insurance excess. Here’s more information on our storm damage insurance claim assistance.