Weather is weird in 2019, with freeze warnings in Scottsdale, AZ as late as mid-May. Arizona weather is generally livable if you have a high tolerance for the heat, but when it switches things up on us, it doesn’t joke around. Tornadoes, monsoon rains, and wind storms make sure to leave their mark on the occasion that they hit, and it’s just as important to prepare for a storm as it is to know what to do once it’s passed.
Read Your Policy
It’s a good idea to read your policy before storm season sets in. You’re probably covered from all the basics on your homeowner’s policy, like wind damage and so on. But not all policies will cover flood damages without extra protection. Better to know now than to be thrown a curveball after the storm has passed.
Protect Yourself From Further Damages
Your insurance policy will generally cover the initial damages that the storm leaves in its wake, but if you leave your wet floorboards soaking instead of mopping them up and pointing a room fan at them, then it may be chalked up to negligence on your part when they start to warp. Wherever possible, get the damages under control and prevent a domino effect of unprotected damages from occurring.
Call Your Agent And File A Claim (Before You Talk To Any Contractors)
The sooner you call your agent, the better, for a few reasons. First, it puts your mind at ease, knowing that you’re covered. Having the check in hand brings a lot of peace of mind. Second, having your agent send out an appraiser makes you less vulnerable to storm chasers. A storm chaser is a door-to-door huckster who will come into a neighborhood following a storm and promise to give you an estimate. Then they come down from your roof with a tall tale about how you can drive a Mack truck through the holes. You want to give your insurance appraiser first look at the damages so you won’t be taken for a ride.
Research Your Contractors
Every second spent researching a contractor is a dollar saved having shoddy work patched up by another contractor a month after the initial fix starts to fall apart. The more information you can find on a contractor, the better. Even a handful of bad reviews are better than no reviews. Some opportunists will throw up a roofing website a day after a storm hits to make a fast buck. They don’t have a yellow page listing, they don’t have any reviews or recommendations, but here they are promising to patch your roof and windows up in no time flat. Look for a company with a real footprint online, a reputation to uphold. Your insurer only cuts you a check for the damages one time, so make sure to spend it wisely.
Finally: Try to keep a level head. Storm chasers prey on the stress and anxiety the storm creates because there’s no way you’d hire a door-to-door contractor if you weren’t already feeling rattled. Just remember: Broken windows can be replaced, and damaged roofs can be fixed. Storms can be stressful; just don’t let the stress get to you.