Weathering the Storm

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How to Prove Storm Damage to Your Insurance Company

Storms can wreak havoc on your property, leaving you with a mess to clean up and a claim to file. But proving that the damage was caused by the storm and not wear and tear can be tricky. Here’s a guide to help you build a strong case for your insurance company:

Gather Evidence Promptly

  • Document the Damage:

Take clear and detailed photos and videos of the damage, including close-ups and wide shots that show the extent of the problem. If it’s safe to do so, capture footage of the storm itself.

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  • Date Everything:

Note the date and time you take photos and videos. This helps establish a timeline of events.

  • Weather Reports:

Collect official weather reports or news articles documenting the storm’s severity in your area.

  • Pre-Storm Proof (Optional):

If you have any photos or records showing your property’s condition before the storm, they can be helpful. This demonstrates the damage wasn’t pre-existing.

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Contact Your Insurance Company

  • Don’t Delay:

File your claim as soon as possible. Check your policy for specific time limits.

  • Review Your Policy:

Understand your coverage for storm damage and any exclusions.

  • Be Prepared:

Have all your documented evidence ready when you contact your insurer.

Building a Strong Case

  • Professional Reports:

Consider getting a professional roofer or contractor to inspect the damage and provide a detailed report. This report should explain the nature of the damage, its likely cause (the storm), and the repairs needed.

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  • Witness Statements:

If you have neighbours who witnessed the storm or the resulting damage, obtain written statements from them.

Remember:

  • Be Honest:

Only provide accurate information to your insurer.

  • Keep Records:

Maintain copies of all communication with your insurance company, including emails, phone logs, and adjuster reports.

  • Don’t Accept the First Offer:

If you disagree with the insurer’s assessment, be prepared to negotiate. You can point to your evidence and explain why you believe their offer is inadequate.

By following these steps and gathering strong evidence, you’ll be in a better position to prove storm damage and get the compensation you deserve from your insurance company. If you’re facing difficulties, consider seeking help from a public insurance advocate or lawyer specializing in property damage claims.

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