Every hurricane season, many people living in areas that are prone to natural disasters have their property damaged. Hurricane damage is typically different than other types of property damage and we hope this article will help you navigate through your options. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for those who have had their homes or businesses impacted by a hurricane, so read on for more information!
1. Assess the damage
Hurricane damage is typically different from other types of property damage, which means that you’ll need to assess the damage before you can move forward with a plan for recovery. Make a list of what items were damaged and what items weren’t in order to help determine your restoration and reconstruction strategy. This will make the process easier and faster.
- Identify all damaged areas of the home in order to get an overall estimate of the damages plus any materials needed. You might need professional assistance in this regard or be able to make a list yourself using photos and overall measurements.
- Take pictures indoors and out, including closeups of damage
- Record the number and size of windows broken, check for broken glass inside your home, take pictures of exterior walls too
- Record any water damage including how much water was in the home and what areas were affected
- Take pictures of appliances that were not working
- Record any exterior damage such as broken siding, roof damage, missing roof tiles, etc.
2. Contact Your Insurance Provider
If you have renter’s, homeowner’s, or commercial property insurance, call your provider as soon as possible to report the damage and begin filing a claim. It is important to document the damages before an adjuster gets to the property. Note any and all damages that occurred, including minor repairs that will need to be made at your expense before you can move back into your property.
For example, if the roof of your home was damaged but not destroyed, it may need to be patched up before you can live there again. This is considered part of the loss so these repairs will need to be covered by your insurance company.
3. Document All Damages
In order to receive the proper settlement from your insurer, you’ll need to show that you have a full understanding of all damages that occurred. Make sure to keep copies of all receipts for any property you had to replace or repair due to hurricane damage as this will be helpful evidence for your claim. It’s also important to have photos of all damages before you contact your insurer so the adjuster knows exactly what you are dealing with.
The reason why it is important to document all damages so you know the extent of the loss and can be properly compensated for it. Without documentation, an adjuster will need to gather information at the property which means they may not spend as much time documenting. If that happens, you may not receive the settlement that you are entitled to.
4. Seek Out Assistance
If you are having difficulties getting in touch with your insurance provider, ask your local Hurricane Help Center if they can assist. These centers are in place to help hurricane victims navigate through the claims process, so they may be able to help you get in touch with an adjuster or answer any questions you have about your claim.
After you have spoken to your insurance provider, ask them to send an adjuster out to assess any damages that were caused by the hurricane. Once they arrive, it is important for both you and the adjuster to thoroughly inspect the property together so no facts are missed. If you do not feel comfortable letting someone you don’t know into your property, ask a family member or friend to come along. This will help you avoid any misunderstandings that arise during the inspection process.
5. Know Your Hurricane Deductible
It is important to have knowledge of your hurricane deductible, as it can sometimes include a separate deductible from your regular property deductible. This means that if you have a $500 regular deductible and a separate hurricane deductible of $1000, you will only receive the total amount you were insured for once both deductibles are met. If your damage is well over this amount, it may be beneficial to hire a pro repair service that can do the work for you where you don’t need to worry about this process.
6. Be Prepared for the Future
If you are planning on rebuilding or repairing your property due to hurricane damage, make sure you understand what type of building work is required and whether or not it will be covered by your insurer. There are many factors involved in determining whether you will need to elevate your structure due to floodwaters, for example. If you don’t seek help from a qualified professional, you may not receive the necessary funds to rebuild and recover properly.
Hurricane season is a disaster for those living in areas that are prone to natural disasters. If you’ve had your property damaged by a hurricane, we’re here to help! Whether it’s filing the claim or understanding what type of building work will be covered, our team of experts can get you back on track with any and all damages caused by Hurricane Irma. Don’t let this storm damage derail your life, contact the professionals as soon as possible so they can begin helping you recover from these unfortunate circumstances.