So many people are not prepared for disaster when it comes to their home. With natural disasters increasing in frequency everywhere, such as wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes, having to rebuild your home after a disaster comes with a lot of heartache. When your home is partially or completely destroyed, it’s inevitable that you feel helpless or vulnerable, but this is the perfect place to rebuild your home and your life. Here are a few things to consider:
You may have that sinking feeling that everything is gone. It can be difficult to have a glass-half-full approach at this point, but you need to stop, take a breath, and understand what the real damage is to your home. At this point, it can feel overwhelming to take stock because you don’t know if everything can be salvaged, but this is where having comprehensive documentation of everything will give you a better understanding of what needs to be done.
If there is water damage after a flood, a water damage restoration company can give you a better understanding of what needs to be done. When you take comprehensive photos of the areas and list everything that needs to be repaired, this is the perfect starting point to assess what can and cannot be done.
Working with Your Insurance Company Professionally
Immediately after assessing the damage and making sure everybody is safe, you need to make two phone calls: you need to contact your creditors to save you the headache of having to pay bills during this tough time, but you also need to contact the insurance company to start the claims process. Depending on your insurance company, you may get funds to cover any short-term expenses while you figure out what needs to be done. An insurance company will typically ask for a breakdown of everything that is damaged, which is why the documentation process is critical.
Taking a comprehensive collection of photographs and videos of you walking through the property can give them a better understanding of what can be salvaged and replaced, but also highlight what is not covered. The insurance claims process can be long-winded, and you will be in direct contact with them throughout the entire time. Ensuring you give them as much information as possible and do your best to be compliant will make things easier. You are understandably frustrated, but staying calm allows you to work towards a beneficial outcome.
When liaising with the insurance company, it’s unlikely you will have your policy documents however you can find policy documents online or the policy documents may have been emailed over when you took out the coverage. It’s worth taking the time to go over it so you have a clearer picture of what you are and are not covered for.
Getting Professional Assistance
When it is time to rebuild, you need to work with reputable contractors. The insurance company may provide their own, but you also have the prerogative to choose people that come recommended or are people you trust. When working with a contractor, it is a good idea to establish a timeline for repairs as soon as possible. There are a number of factors that come into play here:
- The extent of the damage.
- What needs rebuilding.
- Access to the raw materials.
- How many other types of contractors are involved.
The latter point is critical, and there will be a lot of crossover to deal with because if there’s structural damage in addition to electrical damage or issues with the land underneath, this means different contractors with various expertise will be involved. This can be overwhelming when you just want to get back home.
Making sure you communicate between everybody will give you a better understanding of the bigger picture. We can all feel stressed when we don’t know what is happening, but this can be down to a lack of communication between everyone, so be sure to get on the phone if something feels like it’s taking way too long.
Using This as an Opportunity
Lots of people just want to get back to their normal lives and this means rebuilding the home the way it was, but some people can find the destruction of their property an opportunity to draw a line in the sand. The insurance will not cover upgrades, but if you pay for the difference, you may be able to make changes to the property that brings about a more aesthetically pleasing environment.
There will be concerns, especially if the insurance company will not cover certain restorations or if there are pre-existing structural problems, but this could be the opportunity to either make changes or even use the payout to purchase a property elsewhere.
Making It a Safer Home
When your home has extensive damage, you may want to hire someone to make immediate repairs, for example, fixing up broken windows or covering a hole in the roof. The insurance company reimburses you for these costs, but it comes out of the total claim amount, which is why you need to be careful to not rush repairs and work towards a bigger and better vision for your home, and this would include making the property safer.
When rebuilding the home you need to understand what the issues were in the first place that caused your home to experience this extensive damage. For example, if your home flooded, was it because your home did not have adequate drainage built in? This could be the perfect opportunity to address the foundations and reinforce them with permeable materials so water can drain away naturally.
Building your home back after a natural disaster may seem like an overwhelming concept, but this can be the perfect opportunity to start all over again. It can be incredibly heartbreaking to see everything torn away, but you’ll have the opportunity to start afresh. The process of building your home back up is timely, costly, and can cause a lot of upheaval, but when it comes to rebuilding your home and your lives, there is a lot you can take away from this. Many people find themselves viewing this as an opportunity to start again, which is something you can achieve.