Homeowners Insurance and Storm Damage

Usually homeowners insurance will pay for repairs/replacements, but not up-grades, for damages to the furniture, exterior and interior of the house, outbuildings, fences, outdoor furniture, etc.


  1. If carpet can be cleaned, the ins co will pay for cleaning, but will not pay for replacement;
  2. If carpet must be replaced, you will be paid for similar repair/replacement, and not Italian tile, etc.
  3. If vinyl shower is damaged. you be paid for similar repair/replacement, and not Italian tile, etc.
  4. If water damages occur as a result of the storm, the damages will be covered, however, if water damage occurs from a rain a day later it probably will not be covered;
  5. If only one side of roof is damaged, you will usually be paid for only repairs/replacement to that portion of the roof, however, if your shingles cannot be matched, you may get paid for a new roof on the entire house;
  6. Water damage caused by wind is covered, but damages caused by waves caused by wind are usually not covered;
  7. Food products that are ruined will be paid for.

Debris removal from the house, fence and lawn furniture is usually paid for.

If there is enough damage and the repairs equal a certain amount of total value of the home then the insurance company may have to pay for things to be brought up to current code. ….ie if stairs are not to code the inspector may require that.


  • If trees are down & fall on house, outbuildings, fences, lawn furniture, removal expenses will be paid by insurance company;
  • If trees damage irrigation system the damages will not be covered;
  • If trees do not damage house, outbuildings, fences, lawn furniture, ins will not pay for removal.


  1. Use credit cards for all purchases;
  2. Keep receipts for all expenses;
  3. Do not mix purchases, for example, if you buy a tarp, do not add a soft drink to that ticket;
  4. Take date stamped digital photos from many angles inside and outside of all damage, including furniture, clothing, tools, refrigerator/freezer, etc.;
  5. Buy tarps, nails, boards, etc. and secure buildings from rain, weather, etc.
  6. If you pay someone for day labor to assist, pay by check if possible;
  7. Get them to sign a receipt (particularly if you are paying cash) and record their address & phone number;
  8. Get a photo of the people doing the work;
  9. Ask your insurance company to contact you & schedule a time when the adjuster will be there (you do not have a right to be there but it may help);
  10. Most ins companies hire outside adjusters, may be from 500 miles away, they have computer in their vehicles, can email their estimates, etc.
  11. Do not start any repair work until adjuster has had time to inspect;
  12. If there is damage that you may decide not to repair, the insurance company may pay a portion represented by the total replacement/repair, less a retained portion for depreciation; after the repair/replacement is completed, the retained amount will be paid to you; you usually have 2 years to make the repairs/replacement; the insurance company will re-inspect the job to verify the repaid/replacement.
  13. Insurance companies usually have a list of approved contractors;
  14. Ask for references;
  16. When you hire a contractor check references;
  17. Verify that the contractor has experience;
  18. Look at some of the contractor’s work;
  19. Make sure contractor has a Home Builders license;
  20. Verify contractor is insured, etc.;
  21. Be leery of making a large down payment;
  22. Do not allow contractor to charge materials and supplies to your charge account at the lumber company, unless you monitor the changes daily;
  23. Do not allow contractor to use your credit card;
  24. If you receive a notice from a supplier that the supplier is furnishing materials for your job, stay in contact with the supplier and make sure the supplier is paid up to date to avoid a lien being placed against your house (if you have notice, and you pay the contractor and trust the contractor to pay the supplier and the contractor does not pay the supplier, you will still owe the supplier for the materials) so in the event of notice, you can make checks payable jointly to the contractor and supplier for the amount of the suppliers’ bill and personally deliver the check to the supplier and let the contractor visit the supplier to endorse the check and pay the bill.

We are sure there may be other items, but this information will give you a general review.

Remember your deductible will apply.

We are trying to assist as many people as possible to help everyone get through this tragedy without incurring legal expenses. Please let us know if you need more information.