After the devastation of a hurricane, tornado, severe thunderstorm or flood, you may wonder: Where do I go from here? How do I handle my home insurance claim? What should I do in the days that follow devastation? Read on for tips and precautions to take following storm damage to your home.
How to deal with your home insurance after a storm
- Contact your insurance agent immediately - let your agent know of any damage or file a claim as soon as it’s safe to do so. You can file a claim online, through the Alfa2Go mobile app or by calling the Customer Resource Center at 1-800-964-2532.
- Document everything – Before cleaning up, it’s best to take photos and videos of any damage to your property. Keep a written list of all damaged items.
- Do what you can to protect your property from further damage – if you have roof damage, get a tarp to prevent further damage to the inside of your home. If you have to purchase a new tarp, save the receipt because you may be reimbursed by the insurance company. As the homeowner, you need to do what you can to protect your home and belongings from additional damage following a storm.
It’s important to know that injuries can happen in the aftermath of a disaster just as easily as during it. Follow these tips and stay safe as you recover from the disaster and determine the damage it caused.
- If you had to evacuate your home, return only after authorities say it’s safe to do so.
- Watch for debris-filled streets. Walk and drive with caution.
- If anyone is injured, administer first aid and contact emergency personnel immediately
- Contact your agent and report damage to your home as soon as possible. File your claim online, through the Alfa2Go mobile app or by calling the Customer Resource Center at 1-800-964-2532 as soon as possible.
- Watch your step! Areas may be covered with sharp debris, broken glass, and downed power lines. Even puddles can contain dangerous debris, sewage, or chemicals. Step carefully on porches and stairs that may be weakened.
- Look up too! Watch for any limbs or debris hanging above you.
- Drive cautiously on any bridge in the damaged area. If you’re unsure, ask the authorities or avoid it completely.
- Before entering a building, check for structural damage, and make sure it’s not in danger of collapsing.
- Make temporary repairs to your property to prevent additional damage.
- Remember, people aren’t the only ones that may be driven from their homes. Storms and high waters can drive out snakes, insects, and other animals as well – even alligators in some areas.
The Emotional Damage of Disasters
Not all the damage from disasters is visible. Emotional trauma and stress are common in the aftermath and can appear weeks or months following a devastation event. Victims are likely to experience at least one of several emotional responses: anger, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares, depression, inability to concentrate, hyperactivity, or increased alcohol or drug use. Here are some ways to help cope:
- Talk about your feelings with family, friends, and neighbors. Sharing common experiences can help you overcome anxiety and feelings of helplessness.
- Get back into daily routines as soon as you can. Try to keep a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and do some exercise every day.
- Children are especially prone to emotional stress after a disaster, including fear of the dark, crying, fear of being alone, and constant worry. Reassure children they are safe. Encourage them to talk about their fears and hold and hug them frequently.
It’s always a good idea to be as prepared as possible before tragedy strikes. Talk with your agent to review your policy and complete our handy storm preparation checklist to be sure you’re as prepared as possible.
Alfa® can provide you with homeowners insurance that covers wind storm damage from a hurricane. We also offer affordable flood insurance for additional protection when devastation strikes. Contact your local Alfa agent today to learn more.
All coverages are subject to deductibles and policy limits. This is not an insurance policy. It is intended only to provide a general description of Alfa Insurance® and/or its product lines and services. An actual policy contains the specific details of the coverages, conditions and exclusions.