Hurricane Irene has come and gone. While the communities and homeowners that bore the brunt of Irene’s ire in several Eastern states are dealing with the aftermath, those of us living in here in North Carolina’s greater Charlotte area are fortunate. Irene blew past us rather gently in the night with harldy any rain and negligible wind damage to our homes and property. Whew!
Now that the storm season is upon us, your home for sale can be subjected to heavy rains, strong winds, hail, severe lightning, hurricanes, floods and even tornados. Although quality homes are built to withstand these extreme weather conditions, accidents and disasters can — and do — still happen. So, before the next hurricane Hugo, Julian, Katrina, or even Lara (God forbid!) comes along and stirs things up or makes landfall a bit closer to home, there are a few things that you can do to better prepare your home, property, and family.
Photographs And Memories
Document all of the contents in your home now, while all is calm and all is bright. Take photos, make a video, collect receipts, copy serial numbers, and create a file to put them in. Take close-up photos to provide greater detail. Then be sure to keep this file in a secure place that’s reasonably protected from any possible fire or water damage (a safety deposit box, perhaps?). This will make any future insurance claim processes much easier, allowing an adjuster to compare the “before” conditions of your home and property with the aftermath.
Contact your insurance agent during this calm before the next storm. Ask about the company’s procedures for filing a claim. Find out what information they will need from you and what steps you’ll need to take to fulfill their requests and meet their requirements. Be proactive. Don’t wait until you’re in a state of emergency to do this. That’s when your neighbors, friends, and every other client will be trying to get answers and information from your insurance company too.
Fixing A Hole
If it’s broke, fix it! You know that slight leak in your roof whenever it rains? Well the weatherman just predicted another storm. If you haven’t repaired it and don’t use a tarp to prevent that little leak from becoming a huge deluge that reults in water damage and the destrution of property, your homeowners claim could be denied on the basis of your negligence. As far as the insurance company is concerned, if you were aware of a problem but didn’t take precautions to prevent further damage, then they shouldn’t have to pay for it when it happens.
Beware, be wise, and be careful to keep your family, your home and your property safe and secure.