Recent General Posts

Restoration and Insurance

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage has taken its toll on this kitchen.

In a matter of minutes, a natural disaster can cause damage to your home that could require months of restoration work. Once the initial shock settles, many property owners start to feel overwhelmed. How will you recover from this? Where is the money to address the damages? Does your family need to live somewhere else temporarily? A good restoration company can guide you to the answers, working alongside you to collaborate with and understand your insurance provider. Here are the foundational need-to-knows regarding homeowners insurance. 

The Importance of Insurance

If you’re paying for your home with a mortgage, you’re likely required to have homeowners insurance. This insurance protects the financial interests of both you and your mortgage lender. If your home is damaged or even destroyed in a natural or man-made disaster, you would, unfortunately, still be responsible for paying for your home’s mortgage. Meanwhile, you could be without a place to live, struggling to pay for temporary accommodations. Having homeowners insurance helps with that. 

Know Your Coverage Before Disaster Hits

The time to prepare for a disaster is now, before one hits. You want to be confident about exactly what your policy covers. Basic policies usually cover damage caused by lightning strikes, fire, hail and windstorms. Other natural disasters, like flooding or earthquakes, are often not included. If you live in an area that’s considered a flood zone, or experience frequent tornadoes, you’ll want to make sure your coverage includes those potential damages.  The same goes for water damage that could occur from broken pipes or other components in your home.

A great habit to develop is reviewing your insurance policy each year. Talk with your insurance agent to make sure you’re properly covered with limits that realistically cover potential losses. If your insurance limits aren’t enough to cover the full replacement of your home or your belongings, you may want to adjust your coverage. You should also know and be comfortable with your deductible. A deductible is the amount you’re responsible to pay in the event of a claim, and it usually needs to be paid before insurance benefits apply. 

What to do After Damage Occurs

Once the danger has passed, the first steps toward restoring your home begin. Some damage, like the results of a fire or flood, will be immediately noticeable. However, not all damage is visible. When assessing your home, walk around its exterior and look for: 

  • Roof damage, including torn or missing shingles
  • Fallen trees or limbs
  • Missing shutters
  • Damage to your gutters or downspouts
  • Broken windows
  • Cracks in siding or foundation

Inside your home, look for:

  • Water leaks from your attic, ceiling or walls
  • Cracks in the walls
  • Problems closing your doors or windows
  • Flooding within your home, including basement

Your first inclination may be to immediately start cleaning up on your own. But it’s essential to call your insurance agent and begin the claims process first. Then, take photos of the damage as evidence. 

Unless you’ve dealt with damage to your home before, you may not know who to contact for cleanup and restoration. When in doubt, your insurer should be able to refer you to a reputable, experienced company in your area. When the restoration team arrives, they, too, will document the damage before beginning their mitigation work. Mitigation helps prevent additional damage from occurring. In the case of a flood, this type of work would include using air movers and dehumidifiers, as well as removing any damaged flooring or wet carpet that can’t be saved.

How Insurance Helps After a Disaster

As a homeowner, there’s a lot to handle in the wake of a disaster. A good restoration company will take care of the communication between you and your insurer, providing them with:

  • A report and documentation of the damage
  • An estimate for the cost of cleanup
  • An estimate for the cost to restore your home to its pre-damaged state

Your insurer will review the quotes to determine how much they will cover. Factors considered include the condition and depreciation of the items damaged in the home. For example, if you had 10-year-old laminate flooring that sustained water damaged from a busted pipe, your homeowners policy might only cover the depreciation value of your floor based on their analysis. If your roof was damaged in a storm, the restoration company may tarp your roof to prevent further damage to your home and submit a report to your insurer regarding the age and condition of your roof. The insurer would then use the report to compute how much they would pay for the repair.

If your home is deemed uninhabitable, your homeowners insurance will usually cover the cost for temporary lodging while it’s being restored. It’s important to keep track of all your expenses related to the damage of your home so you can be fully reimbursed by your insurer later.

We’re Here for You

The restoration process can be a lot to take in. At SERVPRO Denton, we are with you from start to finish, understanding how debilitating damage to your home can be. We collaborate with insurance to make sure the process is as seamless and quick as possible. From the first phone call to the final handshake, we’re here for you. 

Working With SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Denton specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility for regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. SERVPRO wants our team to be part of your team! Call us at (940) 566-2277 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Hurricane Readiness

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO of Denton help with your disaster clean up!

According to Helen Lowman with FEMA unlike most natural disasters, hurricanes rarely take us by surprise. There’s a season (June 1 – November 30) when forecasters can see hurricanes developing off the coast, hundreds of miles away, and can track them as they move closer to land. However, when they hit, high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and even tornadoes are all part of the hurricane package that can really pack a punch. That’s why if you live in an area where hurricanes are a threat, now is the time to prepare. The following tips can help you get prepared:

  1. Be prepared if you lose power.  If you or anyone in your household depends on medical devices that are powered by electricity, this is a first priority. Talk to your medical equipment company to find out what will happen to your equipment during a power outage.
    Make sure you have extra compatible batteries for your flashlights, radios or any device that can run on battery power 
    FEMA recommends each person have at least a three day supply of food and water, and more if possible.
    Set your freezer and refrigerator to the highest temperature so that it can stay cooler longer if you lose power.
  2. Have an emergency supply bag. Food, water, medication and batteries are just some of the basic emergency supplies you’ll want to have ready in a “Go Bag” that you can grab quickly before evacuating. Take time now to make a list of the things you would need or want to take with you if you had to leave your home quickly.
  3. Know your community’s evacuation plans. Many communities have designated “evacuation routes” and some even have evacuation zones. You will want to be familiar with these so if your local authorities issue an evacuation order, you’ll know exactly where to go.
  4. Make provisions for your pets.  Arrange a place for them to stay if possible. If you are taking them with you locate hotels that are pet friendly and bring their food along.

It only takes a few minutes to prepare for a hurricane! To learn more about how to prepare for a hurricane, visit the America’s PrepareAthon! website at ready.gov/prepare.

SERVPRO of Denton is here to help after a hurricane passes to begin the clean-up of your home or commercial building in order to get your home or business back up and running as soon as possible. For more information go to www.SERVPROdenton.com or call us at 940-566-2277