As survivors of Hurricane Harvey look toward the future, rebuilding will be the number one priority for many families. Families do not want to quit on their Texas communities, so they are saddling up and are ready to start the renovation process. For those who are beginning to reconstruct their lives, here are some quick tips to guide them on their path.
Find Out If You Are Entitled to Flood Insurance Claims
To kick off the rebuilding process, Texans need to double check their insurance policies and keep up to date on where their claims are at in the filing process. Before true restoration can begin, the past needs to be taken care of. When insurance claims go unfiled, the policy that was being paid for is essentially voided. Why lose out on the money you are entitled to? If you need assistance filing your claim, or if you are worried you filed wrong, contact Hurricane Harvey insurance claim attorneys immediately. Professional attorneys can make the difference in having your claim paid in full rather than you being cheated by your insurance company.
Take Copious Pictures That Document the Destruction of Your Home
Before hiring someone to get rid of your water-logged furniture or moldy ceiling, make sure to record the damages your house sustained from Hurricane Harvey. Having photo or video evidence of the damage gives your insurance claim the proof that it needs. If contractors come and begin to take apart your house before you document the damages, insurance companies may conclude that you were trying to swindle them with a fraudulent claim.
Hire a General Contractor for Your Remodeling
Getting a remodeler as soon as possible will help your renovation process move along quickly. Repair estimates are impossible to get without first having a contractor come and take care of the damages. Houses need to have old and broken walls torn out before new ones can be put in. So hiring a contractor to breakdown crumbled walls or tear out rotted boards is a necessary step to rebuilding your new home.
Move Wet Items Out of Your Home for Trash Pickup
Your items may be unrecoverable due to the flood waters. If this is the case, move as much as you can from your home and onto your curb. Wet carpet, soggy furniture, soaked clothing, and other items can all be taken to the curb to save you money.
If you plan on moving soggy items on your own, you should use a real respirator mask and work gloves. Floodwater is toxic, so do not remove items without equipment.
If there is no possibility for you to remove the wet items from your home, turn your air conditioning on and run it at the coolest setting possible. The air conditioning will help homes dry quickly and will help families keep water damage in the home at a minimum while they wait for a remediation company.
Find a Water Remediation Company
The water damage in your home needs to be taken care of by a professional remediation company. When looking for a remediation expert, make sure they are BBB members and are well reviewed by past clients. Ask the company to send you an insurance certificate with your name on it as the loss payee. This certificate will help your insurance claim be in tip-top shape when given to your insurance company.
Professional remediators will most likely bill your insurance company directly. However, if you use non-professionals, you will end up paying for the work. You should never pay for the work up front. Instead, you should request that you pay proportionally to the work completed. This means that when half of the work is done, you pay 50% of the bill.
Find a Licensed Electrician Who Will Change Out Affected Electrical Components
If your home was flooded at a level where sockets could have been affected, you will need to have a licensed electrician come and look over your system. They will likely need to replace outlets, switches, and other electrical components to make sure that your home is safe from electrical damage. Until switches and outlets are replaced, the electrical components in your home will be entirely unsafe, so make this a high priority.
Get a Permit If Your Home Is Within the 100-Year-Floodplain
If you live in the 100-year-floodplain area, you must apply for a permit before you can rebuild. Essentially, the city wants to know if your home is a viable building to reconstruct based on the price of the property. Most homes should qualify for permits, but this is a necessary step for any home in the floodplain area.
Understand That Insurance Companies May Not Pay You What You Are Due
Flood insurance should cover different aspects of home remediation that are all specified within the insurance contract. Understanding what an insurance company should be paying for takes a lot of work to figure out. This work is exponentially harder because insurance companies do not want to give you what you are due. When insurance companies give their insurers money, they call this a “loss.” Insurance companies are not looking to work with you, but are looking to get out of their responsibility to you.
If you have questions about your claim, call (888) 400-2101 for a free consultation.