News 12 at 11 o'clock, July 11, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Sifting through storm damage and filing insurance claims can be a big job and at least 6 families on Sugar Mill Road are still doing that after Thursday's storms.
It can be an emotional time for many and scary for others "or" it could be a fairly painless task like it has been for Bill Bimbrick.
"They've basically told me to get some estimates and to submit it to 'em and they would take it from there,"says Bill Brimbrick.
If a storm damages your house, homeowners insurance can mean the difference between repairing your house and facing a financial disaster. After storms strike, you can improve your chances of getting money from the insurance company quickly, if you follow certain steps.
"I think the most important thing to do is make photographs, of what has occured so you have a record of it and contact your agent as soon as possible, and let them get an adjuster out here,"says Brimbrick.
But not all claims are that simple. In fact many storm victims find themselves in a tricky situation. But its a situation that can be avoided if you prepare ahead.
It is a good idea to take those pictures and inventory "before" a storm hits. According to the the National Association of Insurance Commissioners released a recent study showing that 48 percent of consumers don't have an inventory of their possessions. And when a storm destroys your items it is sometimes hard to prove an item existed.
And here's another problem--who pays for the damage?
In Brimbrick's case - there's combined damage on his property and two other neighbors. But he's not worried, he's gone through this before.
"My insurance company took care of the damage that was on my property and although some of the trees damaged other structures thier homeowner's took care of that," added Brimbrick.
If your home suffered extensive damage and you do not have an inventory of contents, sit down and list the different things of value that were in different rooms.Most people can't remember everything they have, particularly after a disaster strikes, but its a good idea to keep a log of your major purchases if nothing else. Insurance companies say the more organized you are - the faster the claim is processed.