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Written by Andy Gurczak

July 23, 2022

Tips for Handling Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

Tips for Handling Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

Hurricanes can do a great deal of damage to the properties they find in their path. Indeed, if a hurricane damages your home, hopefully you and your family are safe. Now the storm has passed, you’re going to start to clean up. Consequently, we have some tips for handling hurricane storm damage insurance claims.

Insurers will want you to make temporary repairs, such as putting up a tarp or boarding up broken doors and windows. Your homeowners’ policy makes you do this to protect your home. Indeed, this will probably stop any further damage to your home.

But take pictures before you make those temporary fixes. Also, keep receipts of any supplies you purchased for repairs. Insurance covers those expenses.

Additionally, if you had to hire someone to make the temporary repairs, keep the paid receipts. Insurance companies reimburse homeowners for those expenses too.

Take More Pictures

Dwelling coverage covers the structure of your home, your roof, attached structures and built-in appliances such as your water heater or kitchen cabinets. Generally, you buy this coverage in an amount equal to the total rebuild cost of your home.

Therefore, take pictures of all the damaged parts of your home. You’ll want these pictures to support your damage claims.

When the insurance adjuster comes to inspect the damage, walk him through your house. Show everywhere the storm damaged your home.

In addition, keep a notebook. Jot down when he came to do the inspection. Write about the areas of your home he inspected.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

Contact your agent to file a claim. Certainly, a hurricane probably damaged property throughout the area in which you live. Consequently, many people will file hurricane damage claims.

You can also contact your insurer to file a claim. Most companies have 365/24/7 hotlines to file claims.

Frequently, hurricanes cause damage from fallen trees. If a tree damages a neighbor’s property, the neighbor should file a claim with his insurance company.

However, a tree can fall on your house and punch a hole in your roof. Therefore, as stated above, get a tree company out so they can remove the tree. Otherwise, wind and rain could cause additional damage to your home.

Because hurricane damage can be expensive, you might purchase higher dwelling coverage limits, or endorsements, like guaranteed replacement cost coverage for the structure of your home.

While property damage from wind and wind-driven rain is covered by a standard homeowners’ policy, many companies have high wind damage deductibles. Typically, the deductibles are based on 5% to 10% of your total coverage rather than a flat dollar amount.

Standard homeowners’ insurance policies cover additional living expenses (ALE). For example, if a hurricane does a great deal of damage to your home, you may have to go to a hotel while contractors repair your house.

In addition, the storm may have caused rainwater to leak into bedrooms, damaging clothing.

Consequently, you must buy new clothes.

Likewise, since you are living in a hotel, you will go to restaurants to eat.

The ALE coverage will reimburse you for those expenses.

Personal property insurance covers your personal items, like clothing, furniture and appliances. Generally, the limit for personal property coverage is a percentage of your dwelling coverage limit.

Do You Have a Home Inventory List?

Unless you keep an up-to-date home inventory list (which most don’t), you will have to itemize in your claim the damaged items.

Indeed, that is why it is a good practice to keep the purchase receipts for expensive items you own. Televisions, stereo systems, refrigerators, etc., are easily damaged if rainwater from a hurricane invades your home.

Lastly, contact your state insurance agency if your homeowners’ company is not treating you right. The state insurance department can help you with questions as you file your claim, and it can also step in if you’re having trouble contacting your insurer or getting your claim paid. Many insurance departments also set up special mediation programs to help resolve disputes between residents and their insurance companies after a major disaster.

It may surprise some homeowners to learn that flood damage — even from a hurricane — is generally not covered by a standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Therefore, many lenders require homeowners to carry flood insurance if they have a mortgage. One of the most common ways to get flood insurance is through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Sewage overflow is not something you want to think of after a hurricane, but it could happen because of flooding. In that case, your homeowners’ policy may not cover damage from storm surges leading to sewage overflow.

If You Need a Public Adjuster for a Hurricane Damage Claim Call AllCity Adjusting

We are a family-owned claims company with five decades of combined adjusting experience. As a result, if there’s one thing we understand, it’s that you need 100% of your claim value.

At AllCity Adjusting we work to ensure you get 100% of your hurricane damage claim value. Whether you have wind damage or water damage from a hurricane, we’ll help you build a larger claim. In fact, we’ll maximize your claim value and get you back to normal fast.

Therefore, don’t get fooled, get the company that gets you more.

If you have received a low-ball offer from the insurance company, or they are taking too long to process your claim or you just want to talk to someone on your side, call us at 844.692.3587 or email us at info@allcityadjusting.com.

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At AllCity Adjusting we help residential and commercial clients alike get the claims support they need. Moreover, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping get our clients the max settlement time and time again. If your claim has been low balled or denied entirely we can help increase your maximum settlement. Call us today for a FREE consultation. Experience the AllCity difference.

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