Recovery After the Iowa Derecho: An Adjuster’s Perspective

storm damage and fallen trees after the 2020 Iowa Derecho

In times of grief and recovery after a natural disaster, people need reassurance. The fact of that matter is that these events are tough. And there’s definitely something to be said about the financial blows a major storm can bring, especially with one like the 2020 Iowa Derecho. Turning to the Insurance Claims Secrets ebook can help ensure you get what you’re owed.

Say you’ve done your due diligence and had a relatively solid homeowners insurance policy in place. Then the disaster hits. How do you rebuild? What’s the insurance claim process actually entail—and how can you ensure it doesn’t drag on and on? Let’s take a look at what happened with this major derecho storm to get a new perspective on what’s really at stake.

About Derecho Windstorms

Insurance Claim Secrets co-author Mike Cecsarini got to Iowa not really knowing what to expect. As an independent adjuster, he’s seen property damage from plenty of major storms. But this one was different. The vast majority of people in the US never even heard about the derecho hitting eastern Iowa on August 10, 2020. In some ways, that makes this natural disaster even more devastating. No one wants to feel like they’re suffering alone.

Put simply, a derecho windstorm basically runs in a straight line. But it’s not a strong gust. The wind is incredibly powerful and widespread. And even though the winds are moving super-fast, the storm itself still lasts for a long while. That’s why it can cause damage that’s on-par with hurricanes. Derechos can even bring heavy rains that lead to flash floods. It’s just bad all around. And while Mike was working there, he heard a lot of first-hand accounts to back up the massive damage he was assessing.

The 2020 Iowa Derecho

According to Mike, the streets of Cedar Rapids, Iowa after the derecho looked just like the hurricane-covered streets of Bonita Springs, Florida from Hurricane Irma. What’s worse, though, is that derechos come out of nowhere. These don’t happen like hurricanes, where people usually have days to prepare before the storm hits.

Then Mike traveled to work in Des Moines, Iowa. There, homeowners told him that the most notice of the storm they had was that there would be “strong winds.” Unfortunately, that’s not all that was coming their way. Absolutely no one in that area knew that they were about to be hit by hurricane-force winds that lasted most of an hour. They thought they were ready for a wind storm, but they weren’t prepared for a derecho.

Not even the pictures that Mike has taken really show how much these people had to endure. So that brings us back to our mission here—helping homeowners get what they need to stay empowered before and after an insurance event. Are you ready for a disaster to strike? Or have you already made it out of the storm? There are many things that you can and should do to stay empowered.

As the week continued, Mike heard even more troubling stories. A few residents told him that, as far as they knew, most people only had 15 minutes or less to get ready. One woman in particular said that when she heard about the storm, she only had 3 minutes to get inside the house and into her basement. These are scary situations.

Recovery After Natural Disasters

Granted, a derecho is a very rare occurrence. But in the insurance industry, these events—including floods, fires, tornados, and hurricanes—come on suddenly and fiercely. The forecasters do their best to predict what’s coming, but things happen fast.

In our experience, if there’s one thing that’s certain with natural disasters it’s that time will never be “on your side.” During these events, time will work against you. That’s why it’s so crucial to do what you can to get the basics of a plan together long before trouble is on its way. Prepping a go-bag or two, and then having some additional food and water stored and ready, can help give you peace of mind. Come what may, you’ll be a couple steps ahead of the game.

Also, you need to have a family plan on where to go. Share it with others in your sphere too. If you wait to prepare, you’ll give up your advantage. To get on track, check out Module 3 of the Insurance Claim Secrets guidebook. It runs through all of the key points of a solid preparedness to-do list, and it’s available for FREE download on our website.

Even better, you could go ahead and download the entire ebook. From reviewing your homeowners insurance policy to organizing your worst-case scenario game plan, creating your personal inventory, navigating your claim and more, we’ve got the information you need to stay safe and get back on your feet after any homeowners insurance event. This is resource for everyone, and it’s meant to be shared. Please read the tips for yourself, then tell a friend. We want to help keep you save and ensure you get the money you’re owed for your claims.

Stay in the Know with ICS

Our thoughts are with the people in eastern Iowa as they continue recovering and rebuilding after this hard storm. We’ve been following things closely and have pictures posted on our Facebook page for those of you who are interested. In the meantime, if you have any insurance questions for us, please don’t hesitate to send us a message. We’re here to help!