*courtsey of SAFECO Insurance
The beauty of spring is often tempered by powerful storms, with heavy rains, strong winds and destructive hail. Through it all, your home protects you from the elements, so be sure to check it for damage afterward.
Even if you have no reason to suspect that damage occurred, check your home and its surroundings (once it’s safe to do so, of course). It’s important to identify problems, make emergency repairs and determine if an insurance claim is necessary.
Here’s a handy list of things to check after a storm from the National Storm Damage Center:
Your roof might be the area of your home most vulnerable to damage in a storm, because so many things can impact it. Whether you’ve had high winds and downed tree branches or just a simple hailstorm, look for these indicators of damage:
While siding, stucco and brick all are durable, they also are susceptible to storm damage. In some instances, homeowners don’t notice until it’s too late to file a claim, so check carefully for:
Driveways and Walkways
Concrete can chip, crack and split, not only reducing the lifespan of your driveway or walkway, but potentially creating a safety issue.
Fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage each year, according to the National Storm Damage Center. Keep in mind that property owners generally are responsible for removing trees and limbs that have fallen on their property, even if it is a tree from a neighbor’s yard. Your insurance policy may help to cover the cost of removal and repairs, depending on the coverage you have and the circumstances of the incident. (There are exceptions to this, depending on the maintenance of the tree, so check with your insurance agent.)
Finally, knowing the details of your homeowners coverage, your limits and your deductibles can help you during the insurance claims process. It’s a great idea to examine your policy and know what your homeowners insurance covers now, before the storm.