June is finally coming to bring some warm weather. In West Des Moines and Mason City, that means preparing for the stormy season. Rain, wind, and tornadoes can do a lot of damage if we’re not prepared. So get your canned goods, water and batteries stocked up, and know what you need to do to manage the aftermath of a storm.
1. Manage The Damages
Your insurance will probably cover whatever the storm has done to your home, but not if there was an element of homeowner negligence involved. That means that you can expect them to cover the damaged roof, but not the expensive rug that you left under the leaky spot. So do whatever you can to protect your home from additional damages.
2. Read Your Insurance Policy
Unless specifically stated otherwise, your policy probably covers wind damages, but it might not cover flooding. You’ll want to read over your policy as soon as possible and call your insurer if you have any questions.
3. Learn To Spot A Storm Chaser
The first tell of a storm chaser: They come right up to your door or cold-call you offering a great deal to fix your roof or fence or siding, or whatever it is that may have been damaged in the storm, if you’ll only sign them on as a sole contractor. Legitimate contractors don’t do things like this. They’re busy enough without going door to door for new clients. Storm chasers have been known to fabricate or even cause damages themselves, and then use sub-par materials to fix the damages, if they fix the damages at all.
4. File Your Claim
Call your insurer and file your claim before talking to any contractors. Get their appraiser out there to assess the damages, then pay your contractors from the money your insurer gives you. Don’t just sign the whole thing over to your contractors.
5. Research Your Contractors
Research your contractors as much as possible. You’re looking for a website that’s been there for more than a day, yellow page and Better Business Bureau listings and online reviews. If a contractor doesn’t have much of a presence online or in the local community, that’s a major red flag.
6. Make The Call
Once you’ve settled on a few contractors, call them up and get some quotes. Be careful about selecting your contractor. Find someone who you can trust, who has a strong reputation to uphold, and who can offer you a fair price.
7. Keep Calm
This is the most important part. Remember that the damages can be paid for with insurance, supplies can be replaced, and no matter how bad a storm may have been, if you and your home are still standing, then everything pretty much worked out fine. Storm chasers prey on the anxious and desperate following a storm, so keeping a cool head won’t just be better for your health and mental well-being, it might save you a lot of money in the long run, too.