In my last article I was dealing with the problems that can occur when a storm damages your roof, and water enters your home where it should not be entering. When you make your call to the insurance company claims office, or perhaps to your insurance agent, please make sure you are specific about the type of damage you are aware of at the time. You may want to advise the person taking the information from you that you have just experienced wind and rainstorm, that you now are seeing wet spots on the ceiling of the inside of the house. You can even specify what part of the ceiling is effected by the water, such as advising of a large wet spot in the center of the ceiling, or it is wet around the edges of the ceiling and water is running down the wall.
One item the person taking the information should ask for is when you first noticed the damage and what did you do. They may ask what you have done to determine if you have taken any steps to mitigate the damage, which means that you are trying to reduce the impact of the damage as much as possible. This can be anything from going on the roof and putting a tarp, or some type of cover over that part of the roof which you believe may have failed. If it was a very bad storm, you may have shingles missing, or you could have a tree branch on your roof that has created the damage and you have moved the branch off the roof.
If it is necessary for you to purchase the tarp, or to purchase sealant made expressly to patch holes in the roof, please keep all of the receipts of the purchase, as they will all count towards the value of the loss and your deductible.
If you are not able to access your roof then you should try to contact a local contractor or handy man to assist in completing a temporary repair to the part of the roof which is leaking, as your insurance policy requires you to do everything you can to prevent further damage to your property. In addition to the damage to the roof and interior ceilings, the adjuster will also want to know if any of your personal property was water damaged due to the entry of rain water. So check carefully, because the total to repair the structure and your personal property, is all counted as the total amount of the claim from which depreciation and your deductible will be subtracted.