If you are a resident of the United States, you know that tornadoes can cause much damage.
Photo by Medienstürmer on Unsplash
They are one of the most destructive natural disasters in the country. Texas is the US state with the highest tornado occurrence rate, with 155 such storms annually.
If a tornado damages your home or business, it is essential to take action and file a claim with your tornado insurance company as soon as possible.
This article will discuss five things you can do to make the process easier and ensure that you deserve the compensation.
1) Take Pictures Of The Damage
It is probably the most crucial step, as it will help you prove your case to the insurance company. Make sure to document the entire extent of the damage, as well as any belongings that were damaged or lost.
If possible, take video footage as well. It can be helpful in addition to pictures, or if you cannot take pictures for some reason.
Make sure to keep any receipts for repairs or replacement items as well.
2) File A Police Report
If any of your properties have been damaged, it is essential to file a police report. It will help document the damage and be used as evidence when filing an insurance claim.
It is a great idea to contact your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any other reports of damage in the area.
It will help prove that a tornado and not something else caused the damage.
3) Document The Damage
As soon as possible, start documenting the damage. If you have to remove any damaged items from your home, keep them in a safe place so you can show them to the insurance company.
Make sure to get written estimates for repairs from licensed and insured contractors. If you have to live in a hotel or rental property while your home is being repaired, save all receipts and submit them to your insurance company. Most will reimburse you for reasonable expenses incurred due to the tornado damage.
Maintain a log of all conversations you have with your insurance company, including the date, time, and name of the representative you conversed with.
4. Contact A Public Adjuster
A public adjuster is a professional who works on behalf of the policyholder to help them get the most from their insurance claim.
All public adjusters are licensed by the state and know the ins and outs of insurance claims and policies. They will review your policy with you and help you understand what coverages you have.
Most importantly, they will help you negotiate with the insurance company to get the best settlement possible.
If you think of hiring a public adjuster, be sure to research them carefully first. Check with the Better Business Bureau and your state’s insurance department to ensure there are no complaints against them.
There is no charge for contacting a public adjuster, but they charge a percentage of the settlement amount as their fee.
5. File Your Claim
Once all the documentation is ready, it’s time to file your tornado insurance claim. A public adjuster can help you through this process and ensure that all of your damages are accounted for.
They will also work to get you the best possible payout from your insurance company. They will submit all the documents, which include:
-A copy of the police report.
-Proof of ownership for all damaged property.
-Itemized list of damages with estimates.
-Inspection reports from qualified professionals.
Make sure to keep copies of everything and have contact information for your adjuster.
Tornados can be one of the most devastating natural disasters. Being prepared before a tornado hits can help reduce the amount of damage to your home and possessions. Having insurance can also help cover the cost of repairs. By following these steps, you can make sure that you can file a successful insurance claim after a tornado.