With June bringing warm weather to our area, it’s finally time to stop worrying about Winter storms… and start thinking about Summer storms.
As we know, preparation is key. The more work you do to get ready now, the easier it’s going to be to ride out the storm, and the easier it’s going to be to recover from it. So where do we start?
Storm Windows And Supplies
You know the drill. Get your storm windows installed and start stocking up on supplies: Canned goods, bottled water, batteries, and light bulbs, candles, matches, blankets, and first-aid supplies. You might not need any of this stuff, but better to have it and not need it than the other way around.
Read Your Insurance Policy
You’re probably going to be covered on wind damages with your basic policy unless specifically stated otherwise, but some damages might not be covered, like flooding. If you have any questions, call your insurer, and make sure that you have a level of protection that you’re comfortable with.
Keep The Damages To A Minimum
You can’t go patch up your roof until you get your insurance claim filed, but you can put a bucket under the leak. Your insurance provider expects you to do whatever possible to keep damages from getting worse.
Learn How To Identify Storm Chasers
Storm chasers are shady contractors who go door to door in storm-affected neighborhoods as soon as the wind has died down. Sometimes within hours. They get you to sign them on as a sole contractor, meaning that you can’t stop payment on the check since they’re getting paid directly by the insurer. Then they either do a shoddy job on the repairs, or they don’t do the repairs at all. The easiest way to protect yourself from these guys? Check the next item on the list.
Talk To Your Insurer Before Your Contractors
Call your insurer, file a claim, get your check and pay your contractors from the money your insurance provider gave you. This way, even if you wind up signing a storm chaser, you can cancel the payment if need be. And, your insurer’s appraiser will have already taken a look at the damages, meaning that a storm chaser won’t be able to exaggerate or fabricate damages to sell you on a contract.
Research Your Contractors
Look for good reviews, a legitimate website, yellow page listings, and Better Business Bureau reports. You want a contractor who has a reputation to uphold.
It should be noted that not all contractors who go door to door are storm chasers. Many local contractors have taken to doing this to make sure that they get there before the storm chasers swoop in. But by and large, legitimate contractors are pretty busy following a storm and don’t need to be knocking on doors to drum up more business. You don’t need to refuse every contractor who comes knocking right after a storm, but don’t sign anything until your appraiser has looked at the damages, and you’ve done your research.