Restoration and Insurance
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!