When summer storms roll through, you may end up struggling to clean up the aftermath of storm damage to your home and neighborhood. Here are insights you can use to determine when to make a claim, and what to do if you’re a home seller with major storm damage.
Homeowner’s insurance basics
After the storm passes and it’s safe to go outside, check out your home’s exterior, yard and any above-the-ground power lines to assess the total damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover storm damage from:
If you live in a flood zone, you likely already know that flooding is not covered under a general homeowner’s insurance policy; flood insurance is a separate policy. Fallen trees are typically only covered if they damage a structure. Read up on how to handle fallen trees or branches that land “free and clear” in your yard, a neighbor’s yard or in your street.
Once you assess the damage, call your homeowner’s insurance company if you want to file a claim. Keep in mind that after large storms, it may take more than an hour to get on the line with a customer service agent. Be patient — and safe — as you wait it out.
Clean up and neighborhood resources
Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock and assessment, join forces with your neighbors to restore your neighborhood and share costs that arise.
- Getting a group rate on tree or branch removal services
- Sharing the cost of a large dumpster to haul away damaged items like outdoor furniture or sports equipment
- Going door-to-door to check on neighbors you haven’t seen yet
What sellers should do after a storm
If your home is listed for sale but not yet under contract, it’s important to get your home assessed immediately by an inspector. They can check to ensure the storm didn’t cause any new damage to your roof, foundation, siding or exterior, or to your home’s systems and appliances.
If your home passes inspection but the property (or surrounding neighborhood) isn’t in peak condition, be sure to:
- Have your REALTOR® press “pause” on all open houses and showings
- Work to restore your home’s exterior and your neighborhood
- Talk with your agent to see if lowering the price of the home is necessary
Remember, buyers are looking for leverage and seeing a neighborhood or home in disarray may cause them to bid lower. By working to get your home in tip-top shape again, you may not have to worry about losing money due to something that was out of your control.
Looking for more seller tips?
Follow #SellerInsights on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to see how everyday sellers are taking advantage of today’s market. If you’re considering selling, get a no-obligation assessment of your home’s current value by a local expert.
Interested in talking to somebody about homeowner’s insurance? Reach out today to an Edina Realty Insurance representative.