Imagine shopping in a store, visiting a friend at a restaurant, or sitting in your living room, and suddenly you’re startled by a loud crash of a vehicle coming into the building. Believe it or not, this is a very common occurrence, and people are rarely prepared for such a traumatic event’s logistical and emotional aftermath. Medical events while driving, distracted or impaired drivers and inclement weather are all situations in which a vehicle collides with your property or business. As with all possible emergencies, it is good to have an idea of what to do if it happens to you.
The first step is to seek medical attention for yourself or anyone at the site of the crash. After you’ve taken safety protocols to ensure the building is safe and anyone needing medical attention is taken care of, take a deep breath and follow these steps.
Your first step is to call the authorities and report the accident. If you need medical attention, they are likely already aware of the accident, but even if no one was hurt, you must immediately report the accident to the authorities. With the assistance of local police, you will exchange as much information as possible with the driver, including details about their insurance carrier and coverage, vehicle model, and license plate number. Be sure to ask responding officers about obtaining an accident report for your records.
Collision with a residential structure is covered in most auto policies under the property damage section. The settlement can take weeks or even months to finalize with the driver’s insurance. It is very important that you call your homeowner’s insurance company to let them know what happened. Even though the driver’s auto insurance (assuming they are insured) will provide a damage settlement in most cases, your insurance will usually assist you in communication with them. In many cases, the homeowner’s insurance policy will need to cover the balance of the repairs if the driver’s auto insurance coverage amount is not enough to pay for the damages incurred to the car and your property. Most homeowners insurance policies protect against vehicular damage, but you should check with your insurance carrier. It would be best to ask your insurance agent to recommend a local emergency restoration contractor.
As soon as you can, take many pictures and videos of the damage from various angles (if you can safely do so). Take more pictures and videos when the vehicle is removed from your property. It is better to have too many photos than not enough. Even though the local responders and your insurance company may all take pictures, you should also try to take some for your records.
You can’t leave your home or business open to the elements; it needs to get boarded up quickly. By now, you have called your insurance company, and they have recommended restoration contractors to you. That contractor should have emergency services to board your home quickly. The contractor/board-up company you use to secure the property can be a different contractor than you choose to do the renovation work. You will be in a hurry to get things secure, but you can take time and research local construction companies to complete the restoration work. Ask them if they have experience with insurance and restoration work.
It is a good idea to start a binder or folder to track communication with the insurance company, adjuster, and restoration contractor. Write down the names of those you talk to and the dates of your calls. Stay organized digitally, and keep all emails and correspondence in a folder dedicated to the incident. Keep all receipts, photos, medical records, police reports, estimates, and insurance documents in one place to minimize your stress and keep the process moving along when a document is needed.
The property needs to be secure from the elements and cleaned to the point that it is safe, but wait for the insurance adjuster’s inspection before diving into any significant repairs. We understand that this can be difficult if you are operating a retail business, but you need the insurance adjuster to see the full extent of your property’s damage.
In the same way, do not communicate with the vehicle’s driver or try to settle for damages. Reaching a settlement for property damages is your insurance company’s job; do not try to take matters into your own hands.
It is overwhelming to go through a sudden and scary event like a car crashing into your home or business. It is hard to be patient while you wait for your insurance company to finalize a settlement and for your contractor to complete repairs, especially if your home is unsafe to live in and you are displaced while you wait.
Staying in touch with your insurance company and choosing a licensed and insured contractor with restoration experience can save you from many additional headaches as you repair your home or business.
Even if you choose a good contractor and do all the proper steps, you will still need a lot of patience to get through this challenging situation. Try to practice self-care and activities that help you cope with stress. Remember, this will not last forever, even if it feels like it!
While you may be overwhelmed by the sudden damage to your home, we want you to know that we are here to help. C-U Under Construction has handled hundreds of restoration claims in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding regions; call us at 217-954-0385 if you are in Central Illinois.
C-U Under Construction handles all types of emergency repairs and restoration for residents and business owners in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding towns. You will not shock or surprise us when you call in to tell us what happened. Chances are we have seen it before and helped someone like you get back in their home or business quickly and efficiently.
We have a restoration department that works with insurance companies and assists our clients through the process. As the largest residential remodeling company in the area, you can rest assured that we have the teams to make your home beautiful again. C-U Under Construction is licensed, insured, Google Guaranteed, and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We guarantee our workmanship and have been in business for over seventeen years. We also have in-house plumbing, HVAC, and electrical companies to help run your project efficiently.
Even though our remodeling calendar is usually booked out for months, we reserve space in our calendar to assist in emergency restoration cases quickly. We have worked with every primary insurance carrier in the area and understand the paperwork needed in the claims process.
C-U Under Construction is ready to help you get through this.