The series of storms that hit our Connecticut towns this month left residents stunned and created a path of destruction in its wake even greater than that of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. The intense combination of wind, rain and hail was described as “almost unprecedented” by an area meteorologist for the number of tornadoes it created, which has hardly been matched for centuries. The storms also contained thunderstorms and severe “macrobursts” which may have been as strong as tornadoes.
The result was a devastating amount of damage across a large swath of our state, including many towns represented by Newtown Realty. Tornadoes came through Southbury and Oxford, while the most extensive damage is said to have occurred in New Fairfield and Brookfield. However, it’s safe to say that all our towns were impacted by these storms where many homes suffered considerable damage, mostly from fallen trees on houses, outbuildings and automobiles.
For those who need to file insurance claims in the wake of storm damage, we are happy to provide this helpful list of top tips:
Check your policy: what does it cover?
It’s a good idea to read through your individual policy so you know in advance what types of damage are covered. Most standard homeowners policies insure for wind, hail and lightning but are unlikely to include damage caused by flood or earthquakes.
Document the damage, then mitigate
Take pictures of any damage to your home and property from several angles and document details about the extent and nature of the damage. Save news reports about the weather and its destructive forces.
Until you can get repairs made, take steps to prevent further problems to your home by: covering up holes, tarping a damaged roof or cleaning up water damage as quickly as you can.
Contact your insurance company as quickly as you can to report storm damage. This will help you get repairs done faster before problems can grow bigger. Also, most policies set a limit on the time allowed to report claims.
Gather professional estimates
Your claim will be more accurate if you get estimates from at least one professional before filing. Several estimates is even better. Storm repair contractors specialize in finding and assessing the types of damage caused by storms and are ideal for this type of situation.
Damage to automobiles
What do you do if a tree falls on your car? Contact your car insurance company, as opposed to homeowners insurance. Be aware, however, that only comprehensive policies cover storm damage, which are distinct from the general liability and collision coverage that most of us hold and which insure cars for accidents.
Flooding can cause massive problems, even destroying homes, but they are not covered by regular homeowners policies. Speak to your agent about purchasing a special attachment to your policy if you are interested in taking precautions against floods, especially if they are common in your area. If your car is affected by flooding, however, you may be covered under your regular policy!
While storms and other extreme weather events may be awe-inspiring, they can also cause wreak havoc on your biggest investment, your home. It’s important to know how best to protect your interests.
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