It’s no secret that storms are a normal part of living in the midwest. While large storms are irregular, they do happen, and they can cause significant damage to your home. Fortunately, most homeowners’ insurance companies cover damage done by storms, including hail, wind, and lightning (although flooding and earthquakes do not typically make that list).
When filing a claim with your home insurance company, they will require a contractor to assess the damage to your home. Many insurance companies will try to choose the contractor themselves, however, we recommend hiring your own if you can. This ensures that the contractor you select will be on your team and make sure your interests are being looked after. Here’s what you need to know about the insurance claim and home assessment processes.
Finding the Right Contractor for Insurance Claim Assessment
Families suffering storm damage are targets for scammers, so it’s important to follow the right processes and look for established, trustworthy contractors before committing to having any repairs done on your home. Of course, it’s normal to want things done as quickly as possible. But it can take some time before your insurance claim is processed, so take care to stick with contractors that have proven track records, rather than jumping in with the first one who calls you back.
This means you need to hire someone licensed and reputable to assess the damage. If you’re unsure what requirements to look for, you can contact your insurance agent. They should be able to provide some basic guidance on selecting a contractor to fit your needs.
Aside from the requirements your insurance company provides, it is a good idea to ask your own questions of contractors you interview before you make your decision.
Questions to ask potential contractors include:
- How long has your company been in business?
- What experience do you have working with insurance claims?
- Do you have your own crew, or is your work outsourced?
- Does your company specialize in storm repair?
- How many insurance claims have you handled in the last 12 months?
- Is your company insured?
These questions should help you get a good idea of whether the contractor is trustworthy or not. If the contractor does not have insurance, does not have a local office, or is unversed in insurance claims, these are all signs that they’re not reputable or they may not be the best man for the job.
Why Does a Contractor Need to Assess My Home?
While you may be able to tell your insurance agent what damage was done to your home, a contractor can give the insurance company a more detailed record. They have a deeper understanding of the value of each element of your home.
- Age of assets
- Quality of elements
- Cost of installation
- Amount of time for installation
- Extent of damage
All of these factors can affect the reimbursement amount you receive from your insurance company, so it’s important to get an accurate assessment of what damage was done. A contractor who is experienced in insurance claim jobs should be able to provide a hard copy of the assessment, which includes an itemized list of elements that need repair. Hiring a contractor who is thorough and has experience assessing damages, is essential for making sure you get a reimbursement that will cover the cost of repairs (both the item itself and the labor to complete the job).
What Is the Contractor Looking For?
Once you have done your due diligence to research contractors and selected the one that works best for you and your home (we highly recommend you hire your own, rather than going with one your insurance selects), arrange a time for the contractor to come assess the damage of your home. During your early conversations with them, they should be taking notes about any areas of concern, but they will assess your entire property and look for damage that’s gone unnoticed. Insurance claim jobs are distinct in that they always pertain to the entire property, rather than just one area or element of the home.
As an example, assume that you led an insurance claim for wind or hail damage. You need the contractor to look at several elements of your home in addition to the roof.
- Brick outer structure
- HVAC Unit(s)
- Anything else on the home itself or surrounding property
When the contractor has completed the assessment, they should provide you with a detailed, itemized assessment in writing, which includes the cost of labor and materials necessary to complete the job.
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim for Storm Damage
If you’ve recently experienced storm damage to your family’s home, it can often feel like the insurance claim process takes forever to complete. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure things go as smoothly (and quickly!) as possible.
- Contact your home insurance company as soon as the damage occurs and you are in a safe location
- Keep a list of all losses and add to it as you notice additional elements
- Take photos when applicable, and make sure you date them
- Check with your insurance provider before discarding damaged items
- Know what emergency services are available to you, including services like water removal or covering your roof, to prevent further damage and make sure you and your family are safe
- Keep track of your claim communications, including the name of the person you spoke to, the date and time, and the information they provided
- Keep contact information for everyone you speak to regarding your claim
- Keep all receipts relating to your claim
Reliable Storm Damage Contractor Assessments in Indianapolis
Dealing with an insurance claim on top of damage done to your home can be overwhelming for some homeowners. When a storm wreaks havoc on your home, the last thing you want to think about is researching and interviewing contractors, communicating with your insurance company, and trying to get your home repaired quickly. In situations like this, there are also often unseen damages that the homeowners are not aware of. This can create even more anxiety.
Indy Roof Company works with your insurance company’s claim adjusters to ensure you receive reasonable and accurate coverage. Know that our team will always be in your corner by providing detailed reports, accurate assessments, and thorough, high-quality work. We walk you through the entire process and are happy to provide friendly guidance throughout the assessment. We will also provide you with a free photo report from the inspection for your records so you can see the existing damage.
If you are in the Indianapolis area and you’re looking for a trusted, experienced contractor to assess storm damage done to your home, call Indy Roof Company today!