Get Unexpected Help After a Natural Disaster

When disaster strikes, you need to focus on recovery, not on filing insurance claims. Even if you’ve done your best to prepare your home or business for flood, storms, or fire, natural events can be overwhelming.

In situations like those, a public insurance adjuster can take care of the insurance claim process. And since they’re professionals with expertise and experience in these matters, you’re more likely to get the full amount available to you under the terms of your policy.

Imagine that a severe thunderstorm has caused a flood that went through your neighborhood. You and your family could be uprooted from your home for days, weeks, or longer. You want to put your full attention into the care and well-being of your family, in addition to the the emotional and physical impact to you personally. Wouldn’t it lift an enormous burden off your already overwhelmed shoulders to know that the financial impact of that disaster could be mitigated by hiring someone to deal with all of the insurance related issues?

Here are some of the things you WON’T have to do if you decide to work with a public insurance adjuster.
– asses the damage to your home and prepare an itemized report
– accurately and fully review your insurance coverage
– meet with the insurance company’s claim adjusters to agree on loss and coverage
– determine your replacement costs
– negotiate a settlement with the insurance company

It’s not that insurance company adjusters are bad people and will try to take advantage of you. In the event of a widespread natural disaster, they are probably overwhelmed, too. They are probably handling several large claims at the same time they are working with you. They may even have their own family and property to care for. Ethically, legally, and in accordance with the principle of insurance, the insurance company, through their adjusters, must pay whatever the cost (minus the deductible) to return your home and personal property to it’s original condition.

But some people have had bad experiences getting full amount due to them. The legal aspects of insurance are complicated. A public adjuster can help to resolve what can appear to be an inherant conflict of interest when a single person (the insurance company’s adjuster) is representing two sides of a complicated financial transaction.

In September 2009, continuous rain caused the worst flooding the greater Atlanta area had seen in 500 years. Around 20,000 buildings, including businesses and homes, had major damage costing approximately $500 million. In terrible circumstances like those, a public insurance adjuster, such as Atlanta’s Benchmark PA Group, provide considerable relief to overwhelmed and traumatized families and businesses.

When preparing for a natural disaster, consider engaging a public insurance adjuster.

How to Prepare your Home for Storms

All homeowners dread hearing about storms on the news that are headed their way. However, basic preparation can minimize most homeowner’s worries when it comes to storms. The negative impacts of hurricanes, tornadoes and even violent rain storms can be reduced through following the tips below.

External Home Preparation
Start in the yard by securing or storing any loose decorations, furniture and property. Park any vehicles in the garage. If needed, consider installing garage door braces. Trimming shrubs and trees will increase their wind resistance. In needed, cut any tree branches that are close to your home. Inspect any unhealthy looking trees to see if it’s necessary to have them removed. Cover all windows with storm shutters. If this isn’t possible, simply board them up with plywood. Inspect your roof to make sure it’s in excellent condition and attach roof clips if necessary. If necessary, have your home inspected by a professional to evaluate the structural integrity.

Internal Home Preparation
First, identify the safest room to seek shelter during a major storm. This is typically the smallest room with the least amount of windows. Know where and how to turn off the water, gas and power. In addition to having an emergency kit, be sure to stock up on water and boxed or canned food. Don’t forget to stock up on basic necessities, such as soap or medication. More and more homeowners are opting to purchase a small generator that can run basic appliances, such as the refrigerator. Consider tidying up and organizating the home. Knowing where everything is will reduce confusion and frustration if the power goes out. Finally, prepare activities and games, especially for small children, to keep the family entertained.

Personal Preparation
The time to understand your homeowner’s insurance coverage is before the storm hits. Consider reviewing your insurance policy to ensure that you are adequately covered. Keep in mind that standard homeowners insurance does not include coverage for flooding. Make a family communication plan that includes evacuation routes and special needs planning. Be sure to know where local shelters are and the route to get there. Be sure to gather important documents, such as insurance policies, important phone numbers and birth certificates. Public adjusters are available to help homeowners after natural disasters. Learn more here: http://benchmarkpa.com.

In conclusion, homeowners can prepare for storms through personal preparation and external and internal home preparation. Learn more about disaster preparedness, here: http://www.ready.gov