Storms happen frequently in the Pacific Northwest. Typically they bring with them minor damages to homes and businesses. Occasionally, more powerful or consecutive storms hit and the damages and destruction they leave behind are harder to cope with. How prepared are you to provide proof of damages to your home and belongings after a disaster or storm?
Surprisingly, a large number of home and business owners are not prepared for what needs to happen in the aftermath. Being ill-prepared for what needs to take place can create a number of problems that cause delays with repairs, home displacement, re-opening your business, and the insurance claims process.
We have prepared a checklist to help walk home and business owners through what needs to take place during the calm after the storm.
- Assess and document damages when it is deemed safe to do so. If the damage is minor, assess it, take note of everything that was damaged or destroyed, and document it. If it is major damage, call a contractor to mitigate damages (to avoid additional damage) or your local fire department if there is danger of collapse of any walls or ceiling. Ask for a report (if possible) for your records. It will help with your claims process. Once it is deemed safe to enter, then assess, take note, document on your own as well. If you are displaced due to damages, keep receipts of all expenses, and any other financial impact the displacement presents.
- Contact your insurance company and file a claim within the 1st 24 hours after the storm. Keep a record of who you speak to, the date and time you spoke to them, and what was discussed.
- Take high quality pictures of any damages and label them. Photographs help you in the presentation of proof of damages to your property. They are extremely helpful for all involved, and can speak to the extent of damage sustained to your home or business. Do not wait to take photographs, take them from several angles, and take them throughout the clean up/rebuilding process. Save them several different ways (USB, Cloud, External Hard Drive, Hard Copy).
- Have a consultation with a law firm to have them prepared should you need them. An initial consultation will allow you to find out what to expect during the claim process and what are your options.
The claims process can be lengthy. If you don’t know how to navigate it, chances are you could miss steps that could mean a loss of funds that you are entitled. Law firms like Millard & Bragg Attorneys at Law P.C. are experts in the insurance claims process and can help you get the results you deserve.
Call to schedule a consultation with the lawyer of your choosing to give you the peace of mind you need during this difficult time.