Will you know what to do when a storm hits and causes damage to your home?
Here’s your all-inclusive guide for surviving storm season in Southeast Wisconsin with as little damage and hassle as possible.
The Contractor Hiring Process
Hiring the right contractor is part of ensuring that the repairs on your home get done promptly and effectively. This starts with avoiding scammers.
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that scammers are everywhere after a wicked storm hits a big area. They’re called “storm chasers,” and they tend to swoop in right after a big storm or tornado because they know homeowners will be looking for fast and inexpensive repairs. These are the things they promise.
If you know what to look for, however, you’ll notice that these contractors won’t be licensed. They won’t be insured. They won’t have experience or references. Most importantly, they won’t be from your area, and you’ll have never seen them before.
When this is the case, run for the hills. If you hire a contractor with these qualifications (or rather, lack thereof), it’s highly likely they’ll leave you in the lurch after doing a poor job on your repairs — or no work at all.
In order to hire the proper contractor for the job, you should look for someone who is local to Delafield or the surrounding area. Ask to see proof of their insurance and proof of their contracting license. When they arrived to assess your home and give you an estimate, they should give you a detailed, written estimate so that you can show it directly to your insurance agent.
Your agent will want to see your estimate before they approve it. Once been approved, you can move forward with the repairs, and you should get a timely payout from the insurance agency.
Other To-Dos After a Storm
Hiring a contractor is one of the most important steps you’ll need to take after a big storm hits your house. At the same time, you’ll need to do the following as well:
- Use a camera or video camera to document the damage.
- Temporarily fix any serious problems right away (giant holes in the roof, branches covering your front door, and other large hazards). Save receipts from anything you buy.
- Contact your insurance provider to make a claim. Double check your coverage while you’re at it.
Your Guide to Preventing Storm Damage
- Keep an eye on the weather, especially in the summer when severe storms and tornadoes tend to hit.
- If a storm is coming, make sure you don’t leave toys, vehicles, bikes, play equipment, grills, furniture, and other things that aren’t secured down in your yard or on your deck or porch.
- If you see loose roof tiles or shingles on your home, fix them right away. The same goes for loose shingles or bricks and broken fencing and railings.
- Trim back branches of trees that hang over your house. Pay especially close attention to branches that are dead, rotting, or broken.
- Know your insurance policy. What’s covered? What’s not? What’s your deductible? How long do you have to file a claim? Most policies cover wind damage, but keep in mind that flooding is typically sold as an additional policy; therefore, flooding damage won’t generally be covered.
Some residents may assume that working with a large home insurance provider in Milwaukee is best in terms of coverage and premium prices. In fact, by choosing a smaller, local agency, you’re choosing quality over quantity and personalized service over computerized service.
If you’re looking for a new homeowners insurance policy or have questions about your current policy contact Billy Brown Insurance today to get that hometown, personalized touch you deserve.