You have a homeowner’s insurance policy that protects you against the damages that winter weather can cause. Even so, the last thing you want to do is find that your home has been damaged and that you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Sometimes this does not go well due to the stalling tactics of your insurance company, and you need to hire a property damage attorney to make sure that you receive just monetary compensation from your insurance company. In the event of hail damage, you may not be able to avoid the need to hire a hail damage attorney if your insurance company is delaying or declining your claim, but if you follow the steps below, you may be able to keep your house from being damaged further. First, you will need to file a property damage claim, and by following the advice in this article, you can ensure that your property damage lawyer has everything they need to adequately defend your rights. After the Storm Carefully re-enter your home to inspect your losses. If there is not any flooding or water damage, you will still want to check your plumbing. The pipes may have frozen, or they might be leaking. If so, turn off the water immediately. The roof may also have leaks, or it may be sagging, so you will need to inspect this area and the chimney for damage. At this time, you can also make sure that there is not any damage on the outside of your home due to fallen tree branches. You want to ensure that your electrical, sewage and water systems are in proper working order and that there are no gas leaks. A careful inspection of your ceiling for wet spots and under your kitchen and bathroom sink will quickly pinpoint water leaks in these areas of your home. If you smell gas, immediately leave your home and call a plumber. If the power is out, do not turn on your power breakers or light switches. Wait until the power has been restored, then monitor your power breakers’ performance by inspecting them visually and paying attention to any odor that could indicate a problem. In the event that you see sparks or it smells as if something is burning, immediately turn the power supply off. Filing a Claim If during your inspection you find that there is damage to your property, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. The first thing you will wants to do is call your agent. Describe the damage that occurred and the date that it was sustained. Your agent will verify if your policy covers the repairs. Most likely, they will need to call you back, so make sure that you offer the best telephone number where you can be reached. You may not be able to live in your home while it is being repaired, but some insurance policies cover living expenses. Make sure to ask your insurance agent if this is the case for your policy. It will be very important that you keep detailed records about your communications with your insurance agent. Make copies of anything that you send to the company, and do not throw anything away that the company sends to you. Also, note the names of the people you speak to as well as the date, the time and what was discussed. If you can live in the home, you may need to make temporary repairs. For example, if the windows are broken, you can cover them to prevent further damage, but do not make permanent repairs before someone from the insurance company has inspected the damage. Similarly, do not throw away property that has been destroyed. Claims adjusters will need to inspect everything so that you can decide together what repairs need to be done and what needs to be replaced. Covered Damages Your insurance policy is likely to cover damages to your home caused by hail, wind-driven rain, wind and falling trees or other objects. It is always a good idea to understand what you insurance policy covers before storm damage occurs. If you are unsure, call your agent and have them send you a detailed breakdown of the coverage you have.