Here in Alabama, we’re used to thunder, tornados and other major storms that can cause severe damage to homes and property in the blink of an eye. There have already been 59 confirmed occurrences in 2020 and that number is sure to rise.
Although emergency preparation is crucial to you and your family’s survival, it’s also worth having a plan in place for the eventual claim you’ll have to file with your insurance company to recover damages from natural disasters.
Before the Storm
An annual review of your policy is a great idea to understand what is and isn’t covered. Knowledge is power and advanced understanding will give you the tools to know what to expect. According to the Alabama Department of Insurance, some common storm-related damage that may or may not be covered includes:
- water and windstorm damage
- debris or tree removal (labor and costs)
- sewer and drain back-up (septic system considerations, too)
- living expenses if you need to move immediately after the storm or during repairs
The ADI also suggests making an inventory of important personal property in your home ahead of time, so you have a base estimate of replacement costs (this is also a great time to understand your policy monetary limits).
It’s also important to check and update auto insurance accordingly.
Make sure you have contact information for your insurance company or agent ready to go as they’ll be the first call you make to begin the process.
After the Storm
Once you’ve ensured you and your family are safe, inspect your home and property. If there’s noticeable damage from the event, call your insurance company or agent.
While the process gets started, it’s a good idea to take photos or videos of the damage for your personal records. It also establishes damage caused by the storm and will help the claims adjuster when he/she arrives.
A few other important things to remember:
- Keep all receipts from immediate expenses following the disaster so you can prove costs for reimbursements.
- Be present when the adjuster inspects your property to point out specific damages and other issues.
- If possible, have a detailed copy of the personal property inventory list ready to hand over to the adjuster. This will help him/her add costs to the overall claim estimate
If you feel that you’re not getting the full costs from your claim, it’s important to consult a qualified Alabama insurance attorney to review options for further action. Reach out to the knowledgeable insurance advocacy team at Bevill & Bevill, LLC today at (205) 221-4646.