What Should You Do After Dealing with Serious Weather?
On Tuesday, May 31st, the Rio Grande Valley finally experienced the heavy rains the rest of the state dealt with over the previous week. The following day, thousands across the Valley were without power, and many streets were closed due to flooding and debris. Electric company crews raced to get everyone’s power working again and shelters were set up for those in need of care.
This left many Valley residents wondering what to do in the wake of home and property damage. Shepard Walton King’s Vice President, Chris Graham, outlined a course of action to take when heavy weather strikes.
Is Everyone Okay?
First and foremost, check if your loved ones are fine. You’ll more than likely have no problems unless dealing with extreme weather like hurricanes and tornadoes. Nonetheless, make sure your family is safe, especially if you lose electricity. Do the same for your neighbors.
Document and Record
The second and possibly most important step in the insurance process is to document and record everything. Take photos or video of all damages. If there is water in the house or broken windows, snap a few pictures with your phone. This will allow your insurer to get an idea of the extent of damages.
Protect Your Property
If you are safely able to, prevent your vehicle and home from suffering further damage following a storm. Remember, strong winds and rain can weaken structures. Even though a storm has passed, your personal property may still be liable to suffer damage.
Make temporary repairs, like boarding up broken windows, draining rainwater from interiors or patching roof holes. Don’t do anything further until an insurance adjuster is able to gauge the damage.
Safe to Drive
If you rely on a vehicle to get you to work, but the damage it suffered during a storm prevents you from using it, don’t take a chance of doing so. Be absolutely sure that your car or truck is in fine working order before making a trip. An insurance adjuster can help you determine the extent of the damage and the cost of possible repairs.
If your home is damaged to the point that residing comfortably is impossible, it may be possible to stay in a motel with your insurer reimbursing you for the stay. It all depends on your policy, so be sure and see if you qualify for that service before requesting it.
Make a Claim
Promptly calling your insurance provider and reporting the damage done to your car or home is recommended as soon as you’ve taken the previous steps. Depending on your insurer, it could take up to 24 to 48 hours for an insurance adjuster to inspect the damage.
If the storm was severe, such as the one McAllen and surrounding areas experienced recently, it may take some time for an adjuster to visit. The reason very well may be the amount of claims filed by other Valley residents that need addressing.
All insurers respectfully ask for your patience during these periods. Shepard Walton King knows how hectic dealing with insurers can be, but patience is a virtue. We will be working as hard as we can. The faster you call your provider to make a claim, the better the situation you’ll find yourself in.
Inspect Before Repairing
The final step to take after dealing with severe weather where your home or vehicle has been damaged is to not undertake repairs until after an adjuster has inspected your belongings and formed your claim. This is extremely important as an adjuster’s report could help make the repair process smoother between you and your insurer.
Get Protected Today
Bad weather can strike at any time and you need to be prepared. Shepard Walton King wants you and your family to have the proper coverage when the unexpected happens. Flood and hurricane insurance policies are available, so contact us today to get started on your search.
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