Maybe you lived through a serious Texas tornado and are grateful that you and your family are alive; however, your home suffered residential property damage from the twister and you don’t know what to do. Let’s take a closer look at what you should do in the aftermath of a twister.
- Be careful during cleanup. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, almost half of tornado-related injuries actually occur after a tornado when rescues are attempted and when people are cleaning up the mess. For example, people have been known to step on nails or get injured by broken glass, which is why it is a good idea to wear boots and gloves in damaged areas. For this reason, it is critical that you are very careful when entering any structure—even your own home—that has been damaged by a twister.
- Inspect damage carefully. There could be gas leaks, electrical hazards, and even structural problems with your home. You should contact a qualified contractor to inspect your home, call your insurance company to report damages, and inform your local county building inspectors of your concerns. If there are downed power lines, call the police and utility company. If you smell gas, leave your home immediately and call the fire department.
- Carefully submit your insurance claim. Although you may know that a tornado devastated your home, the insurance company’s verdict is still out about what caused your damages. This means that they will listen to every word you say and personally look at the damage before determining if they will provide you with coverage under your insurance policy. Make sure you take photographs of your damages and keep detailed notes when corresponding with the insurance company. Remember that the insurance adjuster is not your friend. Treat him or her kindly and with respect, but you need to be your own advocate and be persistent in order to get your homeowner insurance claim approved in a timely manner.
If you are having difficulties getting your claim approved or believe the insurance company is undervaluing your residential insurance claim, our experienced insurance litigation lawyers at the Voss Law Firm may be able to help you get the settlement that you deserve. Call us today to find out more in a free legal consultation at 888-614-7730 and also request a free copy of our book Disputes With Your Insurance Company: What All Consumers Need to Know.