Most homeowners go their entire lives without worrying about tornado damage. However, Florida spring storms often bring tornadoes. Here are the most important things you need to know when filing a tornado damage insurance claim.

Start by Calling Your Insurance Company

After suffering tornado damage, your first step is to contact your insurance company to report the claim. Send the notice of the claim in writing by:

  • Mail
  • Fax
  • Email

This notice needs to include a written description of the incident and any damage.

You can ask for an advance from your insurance company that will allow you to begin making emergency repairs to your home. This is more common when a homeowner suffers significant property damage. Make sure you keep all your receipts. You can receive somewhere between $1,500 and $5,000 on your cash advance, depending on the severity of your damage.

Read Your Policy to See if It Covers Living Expenses

Your home may be unlivable after tornado damage. Check your insurance policy and see if it covers living expenses for you and your family in this situation.

Contact your insurer if you’re not sure about whether or not your policy covers living expenses. Consider contacting a public adjuster if you don’t like the answer your insurer gave you.

Take Time to Record Damages Before Cleaning Up

Your instinct is to clean up and repair whatever you can immediately after a disaster.

You need to resist that temptation for at least a little bit. Take some time to record the damage. Take pictures of all damage, both inside and outside of your home. No damage is too insignificant to report.

Be sure to take an inventory of the damage and the contents of your home while recording damage around your home. Make a list of all damage and provide pictures to reinforce your claim. Do not throw anything out until you’ve taken a picture of it.

Take Immediate Action to Avoid Further Damage to Your Property

You need to make an effort to prevent further damage to your property. If the tornado created a hole in your roof, put a tarp over the roof until you can make permanent repairs.

Your insurance policy probably has a clause requiring you to mitigate damage to the property. You can’t sit back and watch water flow into your home after a storm. Your insurance agency should reimburse you for these temporary repairs.

Work With Your Insurance Company and Keep Everything in Writing

Work with your insurance company over the next few days and weeks and demand frequent updates.

Keep everything in writing, which includes email. This way, there is a paper trail and record of your communications in case the insurance company disputes your claim. A public adjuster needs the same information to help you.

Tornadoes are some of nature’s most destructive forces. By following the tornado damage insurance claim tips above, you can ensure tornado damage only ruins your home and doesn’t ruin your life. For help with a tornado damage insurance claim in Florida, contact Aftermath Adjuster & Consulting today.