After the recent ice storm in the Pacific Northwest, we were reminded about the importance of knowing your home insurance coverage and being prepared to use this tool when it counts. After over 40 years in business, we know a thing or two about helping with insurance companies, and to make this process as smooth as possible, we’re offering you some tips and tricks that we’ve learned over the years!
1) Take lots of photos – From the moment that damage occurs and all through the process, be sure to take photos. You may want to clear up the damage and start getting things back to normal, but first make sure you have pictures of the very worst of what happened. Don’t be afraid to get photos from every angle and document every potential issue you see. Many repair bids can be started with just photos and a detailed conversation on the phone, helping you to get to the front of the line for repairs.
2) Start your claim now – The first step is reviewing your policy and starting your claim. Fences, decks, patio covers, sheds, etc. should be covered under “Other Structures” on your policy, but you can always contact your agent to confirm that these issues will be covered. Make sure you have your policy number ready to go when you call your contractor as that can speed up the process for everyone involved.
3) Let your contractor deal directly with insurance – This is not the most common thing to do in the construction industry, simply because most contractors don’t want to deal with the headache of working with insurance, but neither do you! So our suggestion, is get your claim started, take care of any deductibles you have and then let us take care of dealing with your insurance company on the cost of repairs, “actual value” of your fence or deck, and getting coverage for the things you need. Time and time again, we’ve seen insurance companies focus on their bottom line when they should be focused on you their customer. We go to bat for you to get your home the help you deserve!
Time to Upgrade! Remember, this might be the perfect time to replace that fence, deck, or cover. Oftentimes a small repair job will incur a set up fee due to the size of the job, and some contractors won’t even take on small repair jobs because of the costs to travel to and from the individual jobs. Talk to your estimator about the costs of finally tearing down that fence that was starting to lean, or that deck that was getting a little too creaky each time you walked on it. We can make sure you make the most of the frustrations caused by bad weather and turn this into the backyard upgrade you’ve been dreaming of!
Most of all, we hope everyone is safe out there!! If you have further questions about insurance here are some helpful links we found:
State of Oregon Home Insurance Page