During storms, winds gusts can cause serious damage. Wind and the debris it carries can easily damage windows and doors, damage your home’s exterior and even cause damages to personal property.
If your home is damaged by wind
Call Nationwide Claims Service at 1-800-421-3535 and have handy:
- Your policy number, and
- A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached.
- From a safe location, take pictures of any damage. However, let your claims representative or roofing professional photograph roof damage.
- Inventory any belongings that may have been destroyed or damaged, noting the brand, price, age, etc.
- If you have pictures of your home before the damage, include them with your insurance claim.
Preventing further damage
- If you suspect possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
- Cover broken windows and doors with tarps, heavy plastic or plywood to prevent further damage. Save repair receipts for reimbursement.
- When handling or walking on or near debris, wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves. Most post-storm homeowner injuries are caused by exposed nails and broken glass.
Repairs and cleanup
- Don’t start permanent, major repairs or renovations until your property has been inspected by a Nationwide representative.
- If your roof needs to be replaced, hire a professional roofing contractor who is licensed and insured. Most roofing jobs are not for DIYers.
- Fallen trees or large branches also are best removed by a professional tree service. This service may be covered depending on your policy coverage.
How our claims process works
A Nationwide claims representative will contact you to:
- Review your insurance policy
- Determine damages that will be covered
- Help schedule an inspection of your property if needed
Minor claims may be handled over the phone and payment issued immediately. Otherwise, a Nationwide representative may inspect your property and give you a damage estimate.
In some cases, you may receive payment for repairs immediately after the inspection.
Any payment is based on the coverage you’ve purchased and the severity of the damage, minus any deductible you’re responsible for paying.
Choosing a contractor for repairs
You may select one from our On Your Side® Property Repair Network or arrange for a contractor on your own.
If you choose your own contractor, make sure they’ve operated in the area for several years, are licensed and insured and will give you a written guarantee.
If it’s your home that has been damaged and is unlivable while it’s being repaired, we may help cover your living expenses.
Learn more about our property claims process
Safeguarding your home and family
- Replace heavy landscaping materials like gravel and rock with lighter mulch or shredded bark.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed; particularly tree branches that could fall on your home.
- Make sure that both your roof covering (shingles, tiles, etc.) and the sheathing it attaches to can withstand high winds.
Protecting windows is a priority
- Consider permanent storm shutters if you live in an area where you’ll need to act quickly to protect from high winds.
- Shutters may be manually operated and motor-driven. If motor-driven, make sure they also can be operated manually if the power fails.
- While permanent storm shutters can usually be closed quickly and easily, temporary plywood covers are an economical option and can be put up fairly quickly.
Other areas warrant protection
- Have a professional reinforce your garage door with permanent wood or metal stiffeners or temporary supports you can attach and remove easily when severe weather threatens.
- Remove or securely anchor loose objects outside that could be picked up and blown about, including trash cans, grills and deck furniture.
Learn more about how homeowners insurance and available options can help protect your home and belongings.
The information contained on this page is intended to provide insight into our Property Claims process. The information is not intended to replace policy language that determines coverage. If you have questions about your policy, please contact your agent.