Windstorms are common in the Northwest and can cause significant damage whenever they occur. Storms lashing the area can leave downed trees, debris and thousands of homeowners can be left without power. Don't be left in the dark when it comes to your insurance coverage for damage following a windstorm.
Depending upon your coverages, you can rely on your insurance company to shoulder much of the cost to repair any damage to your home or vehicle.
Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker Insurance offer these tips to help speed the process of getting your life back to normal if your home or vehicle are damaged during a wind storm.
What to do if your home or vehicle is damaged: Be alert for downed power lines, shattered glass, splintered wood or other dangerous objects. Document damage and take pictures. If safe to do so, make temporary repairs to prevent further loss from rain or wind. Save receipts for reimbursement. Contact EPB&B as soon as possible. Use only licensed, reputable building contractors and be sure they get the proper building permits.
What to avoid if your home or vehicle is damaged: Avoid contractors who ask for a large deposit up front or bids that are remarkably low. This may indicate a willingness to cut corners or leave work unfinished. Don't pay a lot for temporary repairs unless authorized by your insurance adjuster. You could get stuck with the bill if the repairs are deemed excessive. Don't discard anything that is damaged until it has been examined by your adjuster. You could miss out on coverage for that item.
What is typically covered under your homeowners policy:
- Damage to your home from wind and falling trees.
- Removal of trees IF they have damaged a building or structure on your property.
- Damage to personal property inside a damaged building.
If you cannot occupy your primary residence due to damage from the storm - specified additional living expenses such as increased housing costs, extra food costs, etc. are also covered as well as reasonable emergency repairs that prevent further damage to the building or contents.
Damage to your vehicle from wind and falling trees is covered if you purchased optional comprehensive coverage.
What is typically NOT covered: Personal property outside the home such as bikes, canoes, or lawn furniture are typically not covered. There is also no coverage for the removal of trees that have fallen in your yard without damaging a building.
To learn more about how your policy protects you against windstorms, contact Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker. We may be able to save you money on your auto or home insurance. Call us today (503)227-1771 or visit us online at www.epbb.com.