If a homeowner suffers storm damage there are several things that they need to be sure to do.
The first and foremost is to contact your insurance carrier immediately. They need to have an adjuster assigned to the claim and come out to evaluate the claim as fast as possible.
Another thing they need to try and do immediately is mitigating their damages. If there's a hole in the wall, get it covered up even if that means you're not waiting on the insurance company to pay for it. If you have a hole in your roof get someone out there to cover it up with a tarp or something so that you don't have more damage.
The third thing that you really need to concentrate on is to document all of this damage as best as possible. Take pictures, video, and make notes. When the adjuster does come out you want to be sure and get their full name, you also want to kind of keep a diary of every communication that you have with the insurance company. Keep a record of who you are communicating with. Just as friendly and as nice as that adjuster is, he is working for the insurance company and not you, it is the adjuster's job to evaluate the claim. Just think about this for a minute, if he evaluates claims for the insurance company and keeps giving credits and reimbursements, how long do you think he's going to keep his job? It is his job to treat you fairly but at the same time to save the insurance company as much money as they possibly can.
If you are ever asked to give a recorded statement, and sometimes you might, you should immediately contact an attorney. The only reason that an insurance company will typically ask you to give a recorded statement is that they think you're lying and they want to put it under oath. At that point, it is an adversarial position and don't think for a moment that it's not. The other issue that you want to be careful about on these homeowner claims is that the contractors will come out like bees around a beehive. They will be knocking on your door and be wanting to repair anything and everything. Unfortunately, they prey on these accidents and many of them are very reputable companies but some of them aren't. Don't sign anything with the first contractor that comes your way. You should get more than one or two bids to evaluate and have a little bit of time to go through the Better Business Bureau. If you are these guys from Oklahoma or Maryland or are they from down the street here in Dallas Fort Worth Texas or wherever you may be living and I guess really the last thing is to understand and recognize that you have probably in your insurance contract what we call “ALE”, alternative living expenses and these are expenses that you can get immediately if you're displaced or have to have other living arrangements during the interim.
In order to get your house back up to snuff and while repairs are being made so, in essence, there are a number of things that you want to be sure and do document take photographs be careful to check everyone out.
Our firm has put together a little brochure of these things and if you'd like just give us a call I'd be happy to send a no obligations free little brochure that kind of outlines what I've just said.