While every homeowner or farmer hopes the windstorm or hail cloud on the horizon misses their property, there will likely come a time when owners will have to deal with damage resulting from a storm. We want to offer tips and advice for the first 24 hours after a storm event which may help organize your thoughts, but also mitigate further damage.
1) Check your home for damage – While this may seem obvious, having a plan to inspect in a safe and organized manner can help identify what needs to be done immediately and if there are any safety risks.
Once you have established you can inspect your home safely, start by making a general walk around your property. Make note of where all damage is found. This will help you remember later when speaking with your claims representative.
2) Make any temporary repairs to secure your property from further damage – For example, if you have broken windows or roof damage which may allow water intrusion, make repairs or secure temporary protection (think anchoring tarps to roof) to protect the home from further damage. After a storm, it is likely going to be a few days or even a few weeks to secure a contractor to make permanent repairs. Keep track of those expenses, as they are likely covered as part of your homeowner’s insurance claim.
Do not wait for your insurance company to respond. Take photos of all damage prior to making temporary repairs. Even if you have to hire a repair person or contractor, it is best to be certain future rains or wind will not affect the property further.
3) Check the interior of your home, especially the sump pump – While the most damage and immediate issues are going to be to the exterior, it is very important to make sure there are no water issues inside the home. Look at ceilings, especially if they are a vaulted style, for signs of water (staining, discoloration, or dripping). Also, make sure your sump is operational. Even if your sump hasn’t run for some time, a rainstorm could bring water quickly around and into your home.
4) Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible – While a large storm can bring a lot of claims to an insurance company, it is best to not wait in reporting a claim. For example, Nodak Insurance Company has a 24 hour/365 day call center to report claims, along with options to file a claim online or through its mobile app.
Even if you may have suffered what appears to be damage on the lesser side than your neighbors, in order for any insurance company to fully plan and prepare for handling storm losses, the sooner all claims are reported the more quickly a plan can be made.
Even if it may take a little time to get a claims representative to inspect your property, our claims staff can give you input and advice on dealing with storm aftermath right away.