Storm Damage Do’s and Don’ts.
If your home is damaged in a storm, here’s a guide on what to do:
- Make sure everyone is safe. Be careful for glass.
- Take photos of the damage.
- If the flooring is wet, get it dry. The sooner the drying starts the better. Contact a drying company such as ChemDry or JAE. or your insurer can do this for you. They will advise if carpets need to be uplifted, walls opened and insulation removed.
- So, its ok to tidy up or have tradespeople assist, especially if it’s to help prevent further water damage. You will not void you insurance if you are simply taken steps you would have if you were not insured.
- Don’t be afraid to have your own tradespeople provide a quote for repairs if that is your preferred option. If you don’t want to be involved in this process let your insurer know you need help and they will likely appoint an assessor.
Lodge a claim with your insurer when convenient for you. Insurance providers such as initio have a smart claim process that provides support, advice, and notifies the claim in an instant.
Don’t do this:
- Don’t allow preventable damage get to worse. Eg deliberately leaving a damage roof and not contacting a tradesperson or your insurer for help.
- Don’t engage tradespeople to do a major storm repair and then lodge the claim well after the fact. It’s ok to do this when the damage is minor (in fact initio is all for getting on with it), but if for example the roof has been lifted or there is major water damage then get in touch with your insurer for guidance.
- Don’t do the repairs yourself. It protects you better if someone else does the repairs. You won’t always get reimbursed or paid for your time so best to leave it to someone else.
- Don’t add other pre-existing damage onto the storm damage claim. This could end up with the insurer voiding your entire claim, including the legitimate part of the claim.
Will my insurer always send an assessor?
Generally, an assessor will only be appointed to visit the property if the damage looks to be over $8,000. Assessors will be appointed if you have asked for assistance with complex damage. In most cases the repairs can be co-ordinated between the tradesperson, you (and/or your property manager), and your insurer without the need for an assessor.
Can I use any repairer, tradesperson or supplier, or do insurers have approved companies that I must use?
You can use anyone you like. As long as their costs are reasonable and you are happy with the standard of work, then we’re happy.
Many home owners and landlords have tradespeople they already deal with and prefer, and we (and most insurers) should encourage this.
If you don’t want anything to do with the repairs or don’t have a preferred tradesperson then your insurer will have a approved network of repairs that they (or the assessor) will call on to scope, quote and complete the work.
What is my excess for storm damage?
This amount is chosen by you when you buy the insurance, but if you can’t remember, just check your policy schedule. With initio this document is located in your personal dashboard.
What if its the middle of the night and I need help?
Most insurers have emergency after hours phone numbers. But we recommend that you focus on keeping you and your family safe.