What To Do After The Storm, From Insurance To Hiring A Contractor

by Categorized: Insurance Date:

How to prepare for the next flood-wind-storm damage, courtesy of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

Call your insurance company – Check your policy to see the extent of coverage and any exclusions, as well as claim requirements, and whether you will be reimbursed for temporary lodging and urgent, out-of-pocket expenses.

Take photos and document damage – Photos taken after a storm can provide clues to what kind of hidden damage might exist.
Don’t do business at your front door – “Storm-chasers” often go knocking on doors offering to remove downed trees and perform property inspections and repairs. Some may be unlicensed, uninsured and unqualified.

Obtain several bids – You can learn a lot from different contractors, as well as compare prices. While word of mouth recommendations are helpful, always verify licensing with the State of Connecticut . Look for qualified experts and check other consumers’ experiences and complaints at at the BBB’s site. Act promptly to minimize damage – Each insurance contract requires the policyholder to mitigate damages. Some examples include turning-off the water, moving contents (things inside your house) to a safe place and covering a damaged roof with a tarp if it can be done safely.

Don’t be frightened into signing a contract – Unscrupulous operators use fear tactics and emotions to rush consumers into signing a contract. Get details of the inspection or repairs in writing, as well as all verbal representations. Make sure you understand all terms, conditions and warranties, and proceed carefully before signing a contract. Never pay more than one third of the total cost as a deposit before work begins.

Don’t be surprised if the insurance check is issued to both you and the lender that holds your mortgage. Your contractor may require you to sign a statement acknowledging that the mortgage lien attaches to the insurance check. This is a common practice since Hurricane Katrina and helps to ensure the insurance check is used to restore the property.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.