SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Many people throughout the ArkLaTex suffered some minor property damage due to Tuesday’s storm.
Texas-based property damage appraiser Ryan Stokes shared what you should be doing right now to maximize any claim you may have.
“Walk your property once you understand that everything is safe and you are out of harm’s way,” said Stokes. “Start taking video recordings. Start taking photos immediately, so that you can have documentation for your insurance whenever that time comes.”
Stokes says the steps he advises help homeowners maximize the claims they file with their insurance company.
“Post-storm, once the damage takes place, document what happened at that moment so if there is a contest or some dispute over coverage or what happened at the time of the storm, you’ll have time and date stamped photos and video to show exactly what happened in real-time.”
Plenty of damage he sees comes from fallen trees or fallen tree limbs. He says gauging the cost of removing the fallen items is not an easy process due to several factors.
“[The cost] depends upon the location. The type of equipment that they need to bring in. How many people that they have on site, and how long it takes to remove a tree.”
Stokes says even if you did not suffer any damage in Tuesday’s storms, you should protect yourself in the event of future storm damage by knowing the total loss limit on your home insurance policy.
Stokes adds that it’s very important to know your deductible.
If you suffer minor damage and have a high deductible, Stokes says you’ll most likely be paying out of pocket for everything.
He says the purpose of insurance is to restore your property to pre-loss condition, so have plenty of date-stamped photos and videos of your property before the next storm hits.