Avoid a Home Insurance Denial With These 8 Tips to Prepare Your Home For Spring Storms
Springtime in Texas can change from beautiful breezes one moment to torrential rainfalls the next. For deep South Texas and the McAllen metro area, hail has proven itself to be a devastating natural disaster.
From thunderstorms to hailstorms and more, Texas has seen record breaking losses and insurance claims increase over the last few years. In 2016, March and April recorded storms that caused more than $4 billion in damages to thousands of homes.
Having to file an insurance claim after a disastrous storm can be a difficult process, especially when insurance adjusters attempt to find reasons not to compensate you correctly. That’s why it’s essential that you do some preparation before a storm even hits to help you reduce potential storm damages.
By preparing your home early from weather damage, you give the insurance less reason to deny your claim, and you are able to utilize the home improvements as proof of you taking preventative measures should your insurer attempt to use bad faith insurance claims against you.
Consider taking the following steps as soon as possible to prepare your home for spring storms and to avoid a home insurance denial:
- Inspect your roof and siding. While it may seem a bit costly, hiring a licensed roof contractor can help you to identify any roof or siding problems which may not be able to handle a thunderstorm or large hail storm. Missing or damaged shingles can mean holes in your roof after a heavy downpour which can lead to serious internal home damage. You should get any issues repaired (including reinforcing any loose siding which can fly off during high winds); make sure to keep a detailed receipt of the services done on your roof to use as proof during an insurance claim.
- Maintain trees and vegetation in your yard. A cool spring weekend offers the perfect opportunity to clean up your yard and remove any dead or weak limbs that can break during a storm and damage your house. You should also check any shrubs or small trees that could get loose in high winds and break windows. Remove any limbs from trees that are above your home, driveway, or around any other property that could be damaged.
- Clean and repair drains and gutters. Clear leaves and debris from gutters and outside drains to prevent blockage during spring showers. Blocked gutters and drains can cause water to get into your home while damaging its roof and trim. Also check to make sure gutters are properly attached to your house as a strong thunderstorm can rip from away and cause damage.
- Consider using shredded bark mulch. Gravel and small pebbles used as landscaping can be blown around during high winds and break house windows (or even your car’s). Shredded bark mulch is much lighter and will not cause any damage if it is blown around during a strong storm.
- Check the structure of your carport. Many homes in the Rio Grande Valley have carports instead of garages, but those structures can get old, unstable, and become a hazard during high winds and heavy rains. Check the roof of the the car port as well any supporting structures like columns and beams to ensure everything is still in good condition.
- Check for leaks and examine the seals on your windows and doors. Even with a solid roof, rain can still cause damage to your house by leaking through window seals and doors. Examine the caulking in these areas to make sure they are watertight; fix as needed. You’ll also want to check for leaks in hard-to-reach places such as attics, crawl spaces, and air conditioning systems.
- Clean up your property. When cleaning up trees and shrubs, keep an eye out for small items that can easily go airborne during high winds. Such trash can become hazardous debris.
- A final inspection. Once you have completed the initial phase of preparing your home for a spring storm, your next project is too thoroughly inspect your house—inside and out—for any final touches. While doing so, make sure to take tons of pictures (and video if possible) to have a clear and perfect image of how your house looks. Should a severe storm damage any of your property, the photographs and video will prove to be a great source of evidence to your insurer and their adjustors.
At Millin & Millin, we are dedicated to helping you get your insurance to pay out what is owed to you and that damages to your home be repaired as quickly as possible. Let us help you protect your property.
If you are having to file an insurance claim, it’s likely due to the fact that you have just suffered through a terrible event. Having to deal with the unscrupulous tactics of an insurance company is the last thing you need on your plate during this time.
Depend on the responsiveness of the bad faith insurance legal team of Millin & Millin to get the justice you need when seeking your rightful compensation from deceitful insurers.
Contact us at (956) 631-5600 to get the legal representation you need. Millin & Millin serves the greater McAllen metro area and the whole Rio Grande Valley.