After escaping the frigid cold of winter, Hartford area residents can largely relax during the summer as far as weather is concerned. However, there are still occasional major thunderstorms or clusters of tornados that can wreak havoc in a neighborhood. Keep reading to learn more about what you should do to be prepared.
Check Your Insurance Ahead of Time
Before storm season, you should always double check that you have the coverage that you need to protect you from financial losses due to a storm.
The most important thing is to make sure that your policy limits are high enough. Your home’s value is typically covered, but if you’ve been upgrading the interior, you may need to raise your personal property coverage.
As far as storm damage is concerned, wind damage is almost always included, while flooding needs a separate policy. Double check with your insurance company to be sure.
After the Storm: Secure Your Property
After the storm, secure your property as soon as practicably possible. This is both to help you recover faster and a requirement of your insurance policy.
Before worrying about your property, seek medical attention for anyone who needs it. Do not approach or attempt to cross downed power lines that may be blocking your path to your home. Also, avoid any floodwaters that may be carrying an electrical current or have the ability to sweep you away.
Once you’re able to access your property, protect from water damage first by moving things to undamaged areas, or using tarps. Secure any broken windows or doors with wood. If you’re unable to secure your home, consider moving valuables to a safe location.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Contact your insurance agent as soon as you’re able to — even when you’re just starting to clean up. Some insurance companies will be able to send someone out immediately to photograph the damage. They may also be able to put you in touch with contractors who can help you to secure your belongings.
Even when you speak with your insurance agent over the phone, you may need to file a written claim or send additional documentation. Check your insurance policy to see what you need to do and when you need to do it by.
Choose a Contractor Carefully
After a widespread storm, contractors will be in high demand for repairs, but you should still make the decision as carefully as you would for any other work. Check for reviews and make sure the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured. If a contractor approaches you while working on a neighbor’s home, check them out before you agree to anything.
The Wisconsin Builders Association warns you to be aware of “storm chasers” following a storm. Storm chasers are out-of-area contractors who come to an affected area after a storm. There have been many instances of these contractors performing poor work or not completing jobs as well as not having the proper licensing or insurance. While some out-of-area contractors may be reputable, keep in mind that it may be harder to resolve any problems with a contractor who isn’t local and has no ties to the community.
Want to learn more about what you should do after a storm? Contact Frangquist Insurance Agency today.