How to Prepare For Weather Damages and What to Do After It Happens

By Tokkie Ferreira       Last updated Nov. 16, 2017


Extreme weather conditions can cause devastating damages to our home and belongings. Some of the most common weather damages in South Africa include:

  • flooding
  • fires
  • earthquakes
  • hail storms

Natural disasters are unforseen events we do not have control over. You just make sure that you are insured correctly against the above mentioned events. If you reside or own properties in an area that is prone to some of these disasters, the smartest thing to do is to be ready for their occurrence and to be able to mitigate the risk appropriately.


Preparing for Weather Damages

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Having an insurance policy in place is the first step in preparing for weather damages, however, there are other measures you might have to take in order to ensure that you are properly covered.  


Look At Each Policy Properly

It is advisable that you work with a broker who will help you get the best policy for your needs at an affordable premium. If you receive warning of impending weather damage, make sure to update your policy accordingly by contacting your broker.


Take Steps to Minimize Losses

Along with the insurance policy in place, it is still essential that clients take steps to minimize the damages that result from the occurrence of a risk factor.

If during the thorough investigation, the insurance companies find out that you neglected some obvious fixes that could have abated the level of damage caused by weather conditions, they can decide that you were legally liable for the repairs and a dispute may result.

It is recommended that you take every necessary measure to minimize the damages that may result from extreme weather conditions.


Take an Inventory

If your home is insured, it is highly recommended that you keep an inventory of everything you have. In your inventory, make sure to take note of all your valuable possessions; include detailed descriptions, photos, and purchase receipts if possible.

If you bought your policy from an insurance broker, you can consider leaving a copy of the inventory with them. Having a comprehensive inventory will be helpful during the process of making claims and receiving compensation.


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Make Arrangement for Possible Evacuation

You don’t want to be taken by surprise. If forecasts suggest that the weather may be extremely dangerous, it is very important that you make necessary arrangements for evacuation if it’s needed.


During the Disaster

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You should know that the best way to handle bad weather conditions is to stay away when they wreck their havoc. If you are advised to stay indoors or to evacuate, be sure to follow the instructions of local municipalities and warnings.

Your priority should be your safety and your family’s safety. Don’t be concerned with your possessions as weather damage occurs – rather be safe and resolve this once the damage has subsided.


What to do with the weather damage:

After the weather damage happens, there are some measures you should take to ensure that you get compensated for any loss incurred. 


Document Damages and Take Appropriate Photographs

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After the weather damages (when the location is safe again), visit and take note of every damaged item in the building. Also, take as many photographs as possible to show the details of the damages caused by the weather condition.

One of the advantages of having a broker is they will provide you with the best advice in how to document the damage and prepare it for the claiming stages.


Emergency Repairs to Prevent Further Damages

While you may be tempted to start cleaning up and throwing away damaged properties, it is very important to wait until your insurance adjuster visits and has a first-hand inspection of the property.

Before the inspection, there are a number of emergency repairs you can make to avoid further damages to your belongings.

Examples of such repairs may include covering broken windows with plastics, covering roofs with tarps, and such other measures.


File Your Claim

It is very important to file claims as soon as possible. Your insurance provider/broker may have other clients who incurred damages at the same time that you did and may have to operate on a first-come, first-serve policy.

If you have an insurance broker to assist you with your claim, this will help relieve a lot of the stress that comes with filing an insurance claim with many of the larger insurance companies yourself. They will use their expertise and knowledge to help make the process better and will advise on best practice methods for the claims.


Weather damages are often devastating and since they are inevitable it is always beneficial to stay prepared in advance and take precautionary measures to alleviate damages and losses. Better safe than sorry.

 

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