We all hope to never experience serious damage to our homes due to fire, flooding, or natural disasters. However, when the worst occurs, your homeowner’s insurance will make it possible to rebuild your home and your life to get back to normal as soon as possible. What should you do after a disaster to speed the rebuilding process? Here, Muller Insurance takes a look at everything you need to know when disaster strikes and it’s time to rebuild.
First, Know Your Policy
The most important step to take occurs before your home is damaged, and it involves making sure you have the right coverage. While it’s easy to assume that a single policy covers every potential situation, that’s simply not the case. Keep in mind that homeowner’s insurance covers your home and belongings in the event of a fire, wind damage, and similar scenarios, but it will not cover flood damage.
If you’re living in an area prone to flooding, you’ll require a separate flood insurance policy to protect against rising waters. Similarly, if you live in a condo or other type of dwelling beyond the standard single-family home, you may need to review your coverage as well.
Next Steps in the Home Disaster Rebuilding Process
You’ll experience a number of complex emotions after a disaster, which makes it hard to face the rebuilding process. Fortunately, your insurance company is there for you and can guide you through every step. Here’s what you need to do immediately when your home is damaged by a disaster:
- Make a claim ASAP: Don’t wait to contact your insurance company. Even if you can’t access your home, call your agent to get the process started.
- Prevent further damage: While you can’t begin repairs before the insurance adjuster arrives, you can stop the spread of damage immediately. This includes boarding up broken windows, covering holes in the roof or walls, and taking any necessary steps to resolve safety hazards.
- Document everything: This is especially important if your adjuster can’t visit your property right away. Use your smartphone or a digital camera to record a room-by-room video, explaining the damage as you proceed.
- Ask before you make changes: In some cases, your video may be sufficient and you can begin debris removal. In others, an adjuster must see the damage first. Always check with your insurance company before removing debris or making any other non-essential changes.
- Gather documentation: If you have a home inventory, forward it to your insurance company. Otherwise, do your best to provide documentation of the contents of your home – even family photos that show rooms as they were can help.
Receiving Insurance Payments
Once your claim has been submitted and an adjuster can review your property, you will begin to receive payouts. These can include funds for structural repairs and lost possessions, as well as money for temporary housing if covered by your policy. In general, it’s best to use these funds to secure repairs from reputable contractors as quickly as possible so you can return to your home and begin rebuilding not just your house, but your life.
Learn More About Rebuilding After Disasters
If your home has been damaged due to a disaster, contact Muller Insurance today. We’ve provided individuals and businesses in the Hoboken, NJ area with personal and commercial insurance policies for more than 100 years. To receive a quote or speak with a representative, call 201-659-2403.