Winter Storm Damage
We all know a Winter storm is in the forecast for our area this weekend.
We all also know that forecasts are always subject to change when it comes to Georgia weather!
Regardless of whether this forecast plays out or not, we wanted to take the time to help you prepare for the possibility of winter storm damage and offer some simple steps you can take to get the most out of your homeowners insurance plan if your home is damaged during this forecasted storm.
When it comes to freezing temperatures,
Plumbing and pipes should always be your first thought.
Here are a few simple tips you can take to help prevent damage to your home:
Drain and disconnect hoses
Drain sprinkler supply lines
Apply pipe sleeves or heat tape to the most vulnerable pipes.
Keep the home warm. If you’re leaving town, be sure to set the thermostat to 65 degrees F or higher.
Keep the garage door closed.
Allow cold water drip from the faucet. The cost of the water will be nothing when compared to the cost of a burst pipe!
It's also a good idea to double check where your water shut off valve is, and ensure the valve is in good working condition.
There’s no benefit in knowing where it’s located if it’s rusted beyond the point of no return!
Frozen pipes are the first concern, but with high winds and ice in the forecast, the possibility of tree damage is also a valid concern. Unfortunately, preventative measures are limited between now and this incoming winter storm as far as tree damage goes.
There are strategic steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your homeowners’ insurance.
We know because we asked quite a few insurers,
and here’s what they had to say.
File Your Claim Immediately.
Many of the insurers we spoke too said contacting them to file a claim as soon as possible was the most important step to take in order to prevent delays in the process. If you wait a few days to contact the insurance company, they must take in to account how the original damage differs from how the damage looks on the day you called, which slows down the process.
Call your insurance company immediately to start your claim.
Make a list of the damaged property.
Too much evidence isn’t possible when it comes to documenting storm damage.
Take pictures or videos of the damage.
Create a list of any items that are damaged and include the estimated value of those items.
Don't throw anything away until your insurance company tells you to.
Take steps to protect your home from further damage.
Turn off the water and cover broken windows and holes in your roof if possible.
Save all your receipts.
Often times, when receipts are submitted at the end of a claim, insurance companies will reimburse the cost of this initial expense.
Be there when the insurance company comes to inspects the damage.
You want to be there to explain to the insurance company what happened, and what was damaged.
If you can’t stay in your home, be sure to leave a note with your phone number so they can easily get in touch with you.
Keep a list of everyone you talk to at your insurance company.
We’ve heard it repeatedly when dealing with insurance jobs. One person promises one thing, another claims it’s impossible. Information and conversations sometime seem to get lost when dealing with large insurance firms. We suggest you keep a list of any and all conversations you have with anyone at your insurance agency. This will save you a ton of time reexplaining your situation through various representatives!
A quality home insurance agency won’t mind this at all!
Ask about additional living expenses.
If you can’t live in your home due to the damage, your insurance policy may pay for some of those expenses. Never be afraid to ask for more. They work for you!
We work for you as well, and we're always willing to help out in any way possible to ensure you’re able to move past any storm damage that may occur as quickly and cost effectively as possible!
We are of course hoping no one has to go use these steps based on this weekend, but if by chance you do experience winter storm damage, just give us a calbe there with you every step of the way!