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Natural Home Disasters: What to Do When Your Homeowners Insurance isn't Enough to Cover Damages

Natural disasters such as a flood, hail storm or tornado could result in tens of thousands of dollars in damage to your home. If your homeowner's insurance policy will not restore your home to the condition that it was in before the disaster, you might not be sure of how to proceed. These tips will help you to get your home in livable condition without going bankrupt.

Asking for Multiple Bids
When it comes time to restore your home after a natural disaster, it is a good idea to get multiple bids from several contractors. One contractor may come in with a low estimate to do the repair work, while another contractor might come in at twice as much. Getting several detailed estimates gives you an idea of what is required for basic repair work versus a full cosmetic restoration that might include premium materials or finishing techniques that are not required.

Getting Damage Estimates
Consider getting multiple damage estimates. Working with professionals such as the team at Great Lakes Public Adjusting may help you to get the maximum available coverage from your homeowner's insurance. After maxing out your home insurance, you might be eligible for state or federal disaster relief funds because of more accurate damage estimates.

Scheduling Basic Repairs
If your homeowner's insurance policy will only cover enough to have basic repairs done, get those repairs scheduled as quickly as possible. You might consider submitting the full amounts of those basic repairs to your insurance agent anyway, because there is a chance that they may reimburse you for the extra costs after you have paid the contractors. Get the essential work done first, such as replacing damaged plumbing, wiring, appliances, flooring, walls, roofing or ceilings.

Doing Some of the Work Yourself
Once the contractors have completed the basic work, consider which repairs you might be able to do yourself. You may be able to do drywall installations, painting and cabinet installation on your own. It is also possible to lay your own tile flooring. Doing some of these cosmetic restorations yourself could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in labor costs.

Dealing with the aftermath of home damage from a natural disaster is a challenging process. Be sure to only choose reputable contractors to work on your home. Ensure that contractors are fully licensed and bonded for your peace of mind. If possible, do the cosmetic work yourself and leave the technical projects to the contractors.

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