The following is a guest post from my colleague, Spencer. Spencer writes at the Military Money Manual on achieving financial independence while serving in the...
4 Steps to Getting Back on Your Feet After a Storm
If your property is damaged during a hurricane or other natural disaster, follow these steps to help get back on your feet.
- Report your claim.
- Make temporary repairs. Don't take unnecessary risks trying to secure your property or take photographs of damage after a storm. First, make sure you and your loved ones are safe. Then:
- Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. Don't make permanent repairs until a claims adjuster has assessed the damage.
- Photograph debris or destroyed items before you have them removed or repaired.
- Beware of contractors who ask for a large amount of money upfront and contractors whose bids are very low — they might cut corners and leave you with problems after they're gone.
- Save receipts for what you spend, and submit them to your USAA adjuster for possible reimbursement.
- If you need to relocate, keep the receipts. Keep records of all additional expenses. Homeowners insurance generally provides coverage for additional living expenses if your home is damaged by a disaster that's covered by your policy. Review your policy coverage to see the extent of this kind of coverage and how long it will last. It's also important to review and update your contact information with your insurance company, especially if you're at a temporary address and using a different phone number.
- Prepare for the adjuster's visit. Provide your insurance company with complete information about the damage to your property. Include a description of damaged or destroyed items, dates of purchase and what it would cost to replace or repair them.
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