With all of the crazy weather we have had across Saskatchewan the last couple weeks, it would be no surprise if there were some people wondering how to navigate those first few hours after an event has occurred. Your property is damaged, and there might be circumstances which require immediate attention- what do you do?
A tornado can be a traumatic event which can leave you quite shaken if you have ever had to be in the midst of something like that. A storm like this can literally wipe out everything that you have worked so hard for, and surveying the damage afterwards can likely leave a person feeling sick and hopeless. In these moments, it is crucial for you to not feel alone, and to make sure that you take a deep breath as you begin to move forward.
First and foremost, ensure you and those around you are safe. It is likely that there could be downed power lines, gas leaks, or fires as a result of a major event like a tornado. Keep your family close, establish a safe zone or a cluster point, and establish initial threats. If necessary, vacate the premises immediately. Check for injuries, perform first aid, call 911 and remain calm as you wait for help.
Make sure that if there are any impeding threats to you or your family that you mitigate them if safe to do so. If there is a fire burning close by which is small and containable, extinguish it if possible. If there is minor damage to a building but further damage could be done if rain or another weather event occurs, patch any holes if possible to mitigate further damage. Many people ask if they are allowed to do temporary repairs to property immediately following a disaster, and the answer is always yes. Keep receipts, keep track of your time, and hold on to repair records to submit to your insurance company with your claim.
Call Your Insurance Company And Broker
Once you are safe, and that immediate threats have been neutralized, the next call to make is to your insurance provider. They will have questions about what has occurred, the extent of the damage, and whether or not you need temporary accommodations as a result. It is important to communicate both the damage and your needs as a result clearly and effectively. Remember, your insurance provider is there to help, so be patient and trust the process.
Chances are good that there have been others effected by a severe weather event, and that insurance companies might be attending to multiple claims at once. It is hard to wait and be patient when your life is in disrepair, but patience is necessary in these times. Have reasonable expectations set for your claims adjuster, communicate in a calm manner, and resist the urge to let your emotions control the conversations. These times are devastating for sure, and insurance companies understand the human element of dealing with disasters. Be patient, kind and calm- this will ensure a smooth claim process. If you disagree with a decision that your adjuster is making, talk to your broker or the claims manager and raise your concerns in a friendly fashion. The decision might not change, but there might be wiggle room else where, and at minimum you will gain more understanding on why decisions are made the way they are.
Here To Help
At the end of the day, your broker and insurance company are here to help. We want to see your disaster reversed, your life back together, and your assets secure. If you experience an extreme weather event, remember to be safe, mitigate threats, call your insurance provider, and to stay calm through the process.