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Insurance company offers step-by-step cleanup guide for storm property damage

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The aftermath of storms leaves properties damaged. Many are clueless about the next steps to take to start the cleanup process.

People living across the Coastal Empire picking up from what severe storms left behind. Some neighborhoods saw just a few minor limbs break, but other homes in our area did see some significant damage.

Our area breathing a sigh of relief that we aren’t waking up to massive damage like people in Panama City Beach a couple of days ago. Anytime a storm system blows through with watches and warnings, your home is at risk for damage.

Storms like what blew through Tuesday are a good reminder to make sure you’re up to date on protecting your property.

News 3 spoke to Sam Sharpe, an insurance agent with State Farm, who said he knows this situation all too well.

“If a tree fell on your house, you want to first mitigate the damages,” Sharpe said.  “Make sure that we get the tree off your house, we get a tarp on the house until your company can get out to access the claim. You never want to go ahead and start making repairs if you do have damage from your house from the storm before the insurance adjuster gets out and approves it.”

Sharpe said the best thing to do in this situation is to have open communication with your insurer.

“You should always contact your agent or your company and say, ‘hey, is this a covered loss?’,” he said. “Most companies take the most severe claims first if somebody’s house was flooded and they had to move out of the house.”

He continued, “So, you always want to be in contact with your agent or your insurance company and say, ‘here’s the damage’. They’ll tell you what to do moving forward.”

Also, beware of scams.

“We get a lot of that in our area because of wind and hurricanes. These companies just go around and say, ‘You may have some roof damage’,” Sharpe explained. “You want to make sure that you know they are filing a claim. Sometimes companies will just file claims on your behalf, which you want to make sure it’s going on your record that it’s a covered loss, you’re checking your deductible, and checking your policy.”

Insurance experts also say to use your phone and take pictures of each room in your home as well as the outside and roof.  Keep those photos with your insurance paperwork. Furthermore, make sure you take pictures of the damage too, so you have the most accurate record of before a storm hit and then after.

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