Recovering from a storm can feel as draining as preparing for one. The easiest way to go about it? Just break it down into steps. Simplify it, take it on at your own pace, and even the biggest problem becomes easy to manage.
- Know whether or not you’re covered. Read up on your insurance policy and figure out what damages are covered and what damages are not. Flooding might not be covered on your basic policy, but wind damage will be for more Phoenix, AZ insurance providers than not.
- Protect your home from further damages. This is actually required by your insurer. If you can control damages by moving that expensive rug out from under the leak in the roof, or shut your water valve off to stop the broken pipe from ruining your floorboards, get that taken care of.
- Assess the damages and file a claim. Simple as that. Just get an idea of what needs fixed and call your agency to have someone take a look.
- Shop around for your contractors. If you already have a guy you call for roofing, if you already have your drywall crew or your go-to plumber, great. If not, shop around, and be sure to do your research.
- Be on the lookout for Storm Chasers. These are con artists who move into town after a storm, usually promising that they work directly with insurance companies and “it won’t cost you a penny!” and then they take the check from your insurer and, more often than not, that’s the last you hear from them. Here’s what to watch out for:
- They call you, not the other way around. Sometimes they even come right to your front door like a 1950s traveling salesman. A legitimate roofing company has their hands full following a storm, and they’re not going door to door looking for clients.
- They offer a “free appraisal” which usually involves getting up on your roof and lying to you about the severity of the damage. In some instances, they’ve been known to come back off the roof with fake photos of damages to someone else’s roof, or they may even damage the roof themselves to justify the repairs.
- They have zero web presence, or maybe a makeshift website and nothing else. If you can’t find credible reviews and recommendations, some kind of online footprint, that’s probably because it’s not a real company.
- They’re not even listed in the yellow pages.
- They use strongarm tactics. Often guilting you with “verbal contracts” or overestimating the damages if you don’t sign them for the job “right now!” Again, legitimate contractors are not hurting for business following a storm, and they don’t need to resort to these desperate sales tactics.
People who haven’t been to Arizona in the Summertime may not realize just how serious it can get come monsoon season. A strong roof can withstand 60 mph winds, but no house is invincible. Make sure you’re prepared for a storm and make sure you’re prepared to deal with the aftermath, too.