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Tornadoes are not uncommon in Florida. Even though many homeowners will never have to worry about damage by a tornado, if one occurs, you will have to file an insurance damage claim. Read on to learn about the process for filing a tornado damage claim and the most important things you should know.
Call Your Insurance Company Immediately
As soon as you are safe, you should contact your insurance company to report the damage and advise them as to what happened and the damage that occurred.
After taking photos of the damage, you should then make any emergency repairs necessary while you wait for the insurance company’s adjuster to inspect the damage. As you make any repairs, be sure to keep all your receipts.
See If Your Policy Covers Living Expenses
Often, after tornado damage, a home may no longer be livable and your insurance may cover living expenses.
If you are not sure, contact your insurance carrier or agent. If you think you are owed living expenses but are being denied, contact a public adjuster to help you.
Record Damage Before Cleaning Up
Again, before you begin the cleanup process and repairs, be sure to record the damage. Do this by taking photos of all the damage, both inside and out. Even insignificant damage should be recorded. Remember, it is better to have too many photos than not enough.
Additionally, you will want to inventory the damage as well. List everything that was damaged. This list, along with the photos, will help secure your claim.
Never throw anything away without first recording it. If you don’t, your insurance company won’t know that you had damage and won’t want to pay for it.
Secure Your Property Against Further Damage
After a tornado, do what you can to secure your property against further damage. For instance:
- Tarp any holes in the roof to reduce the likelihood of water damage
- Board up windows and doors to prevent theft or vandalism
- If needed, turn off power or water to prevent fire or water damage
This is important because most insurance policies have a clause stating that you need to do what is necessary to prevent further damage to the home. Of course, your insurance company will reimburse you for any repairs you make to secure your home.
Communicate In Writing
Over the next several weeks, you’ll be working with your insurance company and providing updates. It is suggested that everything you communicate is in writing and that you keep a copy of each communication. This permanent record will be the evidence you need in case your claim is disputed. It will also be helpful if you decide to bring in a public adjuster later in the process.
Tornadoes can be very destructive. By following these tips, you can help safeguard that your claim is handled as efficiently as possible. If you need help with a tornado damage insurance claim in Florida, call Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting today.