Home Insurance Company Ossining NY

Five things to do when your home is damaged

Extreme weather can hit during any season of the year in Ossining and surrounding areas in Westchester county, causing minor or extensive damage your home. When that time comes, here are five things to do when your home is damaged.

Am I covered?

A homeowners’ insurance policy typically covers damage caused by natural forces such as wind, rain or hail (which are the most common reasons behind a claim). But with about one of every 15 insured homes sustaining enough damage to merit a claim against the homeowners’ insurance, it’s really not a question of if – but when – you will be making a homeowners’ insurance claim. When that time comes, here are five things to do when your home is damaged.

  1. Do a damage inspection after extreme weather

While it’s generally a good idea to regularly check your home’s exterior for wear and tear, it’s especially important to perform a careful inspection after a good storm. You’ll want to look for missing shingles on your roof and damage to your siding and gutters, and any other exterior features on the home. Be sure to take pictures of any damage you find – photographic proof is the best proof!

  1. Understand what is covered and what is not covered

Before you go through the effort of submitting a claim, make sure you clearly understand what your home insurance policy does and does not cover.

  1. Have contractors provide repair estimates

If you discover damage that is covered by your homeowner’s insurance, you’ll be wise to have multiple contractors over to see the damage (and inspect for additional damage that you might not have noticed). Ask each contractor for a repair estimate. It’s smart to have three written estimates to give to your insurance company.

  1. Compare the repair estimates against your deductible

With the contractor estimate in hand, compare their repair prices to your policy’s deductible. Then use this test to determine how to proceed:

  • If the estimates are less than your deductible, pay for the repairs yourself.
  • If the estimates are equal to your deductible, pay for the repairs yourself.
  • If the estimates are slightly higher than your deductible, pay for the repairs yourself, if you are able. Why? Because every time you file a claim your claims are recorded in a shared insurance database (no matter if they are approved or not). As those claims add up, if could affect insurers’ willingness to insure your home, your coverage levels and/or the cost of your insurance.
  • If the estimates are clearly higher than your deductible, file the claim and have your insurance company pay for the repairs or replacement.

This is why you need to be sure you understand what is and is not covered and what the repair or replacement cost will be (compared to your deductible), so that you only submit claims when it really makes sense to do so.

  1. File your claim promptly

When you determine that you do need to submit a claim, do it immediately. Many insurance policies provide a specific window of time in which you can file your claim after the damage occurs. If you delay your claim could be denied and you’ll be left holding the bad for repairs.

Luis Guerra Agency LLC is here to help you protect your assets and your home from natural disaster and theft. We will work to get you the right insurance, whatever that might be for your personal situation. Home insurance from Luis Guerra Agency can secure your financial future and give you the ability to recover fast from anything that life has to throw at you.