After the Storm–What to Do if Your Home is Damaged by a Summer Storm

Summer storms in Aliso Viejo, CA can pack a surprising punch, leaving homeowners with damaged homes, outbuildings, or downed trees.  Use these tips from BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. to know how to handle the damage once the storm passes.

Call Your Agent

After you and your family are safe, call your insurance agent, even if it’s after hours. You can call the national phone line for your insurance company and follow the prompts to get started filing your claim. Try to have your policy number nearby to expedite your claim. You should make notes about the time of your call and who you talked to. Be sure to write down your claim number if they give you one. 

In the days after the storm, the insurance adjuster will come by and look at your damage. Be sure to point out all damaged items, and make sure that the adjuster has your name, address, and policy number correct. Keep track of all paperwork in a folder or envelope and make notes any time you talk with someone from the insurance company.

Don’t Start on Repairs Unless Damage Is a Danger

While it’s tempting to get started right away putting things to rights, if you are planning on making an insurance claim, you may want to hold off on fixing things. Your insurance agent will want to see the damage in full before things are repaired.

You can temporarily repair things if your home is in danger of further damage. For instance, you can tack a tarp or piece of plywood on your damaged roof to temporarily keep the rain out. However, you should hold off on making permanent repairs.  If you have to buy items for these basic repairs, keep your receipts. You may be able to be reimbursed by the insurance company for anything that you have to buy to protect the structure.

Only Use Reputable Contractors

Sometimes, contractors will go door-to-door after storms to try to drum up work. The problem is that you have no way of knowing if these people are reliable and do good work. Ask your agent for a referral if you don’t know anyone who can make these repairs. Be patient and wait for someone who knows what they are doing. Shoddily done repairs with poor quality materials are worse than having to wait a week or two to have your project completed. 

If you need advice about storm damage in Aliso Viejo, CA, contact BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc..