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Homeowners Insurance Policy Change- What to Know this Storm Season

Storm season is upon us! Is your home ready?

There has been a minor change in the way homeowner insurance policies work that could have a major effect on you as a homeowner.

The way to file a storm damage claim has changed, and as we progress through storm season, we want you to be prepared.

Historically most Homeowners Insurance policies stated that you had to report a claim to the insurance company promptly upon becoming aware that you have, or might have, damage. Over the last several years this has been steadily changing. 

More and more insurance companies are now setting deadlines for when a claim can be submitted, starting at the point in time when the damage occurs. Often the claim must be reported within 12 months of the date the damage was done.

We recommend that if you suspect you may have storm damage you contact a reputable contractor to come give you an estimate.   Many, if not most, will do it free of charge.   And if you already know you have damage, get the claim submitted.

If you do notice some storm damage on your home, we have a few tips on making a storm related insurance claim.

Act Quickly. As we mentioned before, making a claim to your insurance company for damage is a timely matter. Most insurance policies limit your time to make a claim, so the sooner you do it the better. Plus, if you do have damage, you want that fixed before more damage occurs.

Document everything. Keep a log of the damage. It may also be smart to keep a log of when severe weather occurred. You want to take pictures of any damage you may have. However, only take photos of damage you can see from the ground. Do not get on your roof or otherwise to take photos that require putting yourself in a precarious position.

Review your policy. You need to know what your homeowner’s policy covers, any optional insurance coverage, and how the process to file a claim works. This makes it easier to plead your case when something happens. All policies can differ, so understanding yours is important.

Get quotes from professionals. A professional assessment on the damage is more thorough and probably means more to your insurance provider. They specialize in finding, assessing and repair damage from storms, giving you a clear understanding of your damage. If you can, try to get quotes from a few experts.

As always, Chastain Otis Insurance is here to update you and answer your insurance policy questions. We want you to always be informed. Contact us today with any questions about your homeowner’s policy or any other insurance policies you have. We’re here to help.

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