Love it or hate it, winters in the Northeast bring snowstorms – and sometimes substantial accumulations. Across the region, lake effect snows, nor’easters and other weather fronts can carry significant moisture and drop incredible snowfall totals in a matter of hours, leading to downed trees, power outages, structural damage, collapses, water damage from ice dams, and even flooding from large amounts of melted snow.
If you’ve suffered property damage at your home or business as the result of a winter storm, the expert public adjusters at Adjusters International/Basloe, Levin & Cuccaro can help with your claim. Here is a look at what to do following a damaging snowstorm.
Get Safe and Secure
If your home or business has experienced any property damage as a result of a storm first, it is important to make sure you remain safe. If your residence is damaged, seek shelter with friends or loved ones. You can also contact local emergency services, if needed, for assistance. You may also need to contact utility providers if there is a critical situation such as downed power lines or damaged gas or water lines.
Call Your Insurer
Once any urgent needs are handled and you are safe, contact your insurance company to notify them of your claim. Make sure to provide as much detail as possible about your damages or losses, including the circumstances that occurred, any emergency situations that the storm caused and the initial scope of your property damage including any structural impacts or failures that may have occurred. The more information you can provide will help your insurer to complete a preliminary evaluation of your loss and inform the company’s claim representative about the scope of your claim.
Secure the Property
You should also take any immediate steps needed to secure the property and prevent any further damage. For example, if a tree has fallen onto the building, work to get it removed as soon as possible while protecting any exposed areas from further damage. Similarly, if an ice dam has caused a leak, work to prevent any additional water getting into the property that could cause more harm. You should not dispose of any damaged belongings or property – instead, hold on to these items as evidence for your claim – but by working to mitigate additional damage, you can show your insurer that you have done your due diligence to limit your claim as much as possible.
Take Stock of Losses
As you work to secure your property and begin the cleanup and restoration process, document your loss as thoroughly as possible. Take photos and/or videos of the areas of your home or business that have been affected by the winter storm, and begin compiling a list of lost or damaged possessions, office equipment or business inventory. Work to be as thorough as possible so that you have a complete record of what you have lost as a result of the winter weather. As before, continue to hold onto any damaged items as evidence to support your claim. Though it might be tempting to throw away water-damaged, destroyed or otherwise unrecoverable belongings, these items can help provide a complete picture of the scope of your loss.
Call Our Public Adjusters
Finally, make sure you get the correct and just settlement amount for your claim by working with a public adjuster. Our expert public adjusters work on your behalf, and not for your insurer, serving as advocates and trusted advisors for you throughout your property damage and loss claim. We understand the nuance of snow damage and winter storm claims, and know that often there is more involved than just the immediate loss of possessions or repairs to structures. Snowstorm losses can lead to leaks or water damage, potentially causing mold, or long-term concerns with structures from a tree impact or ice dam damage to roofing components. Our public adjusters relieve the stress of having to file a claim – we prepare, estimate, negotiate, and settle your claim for you, on behalf of the policyholder – we do not work for the insurance company.
Let us work with you and your insurer to make sure your home or business is made whole again. We specialize in both commercial and residential property claims including claims for winter damage at your home or business, ranging from water damage to collapse. Contact our office nearest you today to get the process started and learn how the assistance of a public adjuster can make a substantial difference in your claim.