2. Assess and document the damage.
Once you think it's safe enough to move around your home, it’s time to inspect the entire area and assess the damage. This can be a highly emotional process, seeing your precious home destroyed, but documenting the damage must be done before contacting your insurance company. This is so you can provide the necessary evidence for your insurance claim, particularly if your policy only covers certain types of damage.
Grab your camera or smartphone and start taking photos and capturing videos of any interior and exterior damage to the home. Since your house could have structural damage, always exercise caution during the inspection. To make sure your pictures are very detailed, take the time to go through each room and in all areas of your property (as long as it’s safe), taking note of both big and small issues, including any of the following:
Any holes or leaks in the roof; loose, missing, or broken shingles; dents on vents and gutters
Broken windows and doors
Exposed power lines
Damaged or broken appliances and furniture, primarily due to water damage
Loss or destruction of personal items, since most homeowner’s insurance policies include personal property coverage up to a scheduled limit.
It will also be helpful if you’ve taken photographs of your house and property before a storm hit. This way, you’ll be able to compare your photos of the damage with what it looked like before, and your insurance company won’t question whether or not you’re blaming the storm for pre-existing damage. So if you’re concerned about a storm that’s coming or that hasn’t hit yet, take photos of the normal state of your home so you’ll have them on hand if the worst occurs.