Do you live in an area that is frequently hit by hurricanes? Are you worried that your house is in a “danger zone?” Although you may be concerned, this is not reason enough for most people to move to a different part of the country. Instead, they simply purchase the right insurance coverage and hope for the best.
In short, here are three things you need to do if you are faced with an insurance claim as a result of a hurricane:
- Make repairs on your own that can help prevent additional damage. This could include things such as covering broken windows.
- Take photos of any damage.
- Contact your insurance agent to file a claim and discuss how to move forward.
You may think you know everything about making a hurricane claim, however, you will not truly be tested until the time comes.
Here are five questions that often times go unanswered until the most inopportune time.
1. How can I speed up the claims process? You have heard the horror stories. You call to make a claim, just to find that your insurance company is bogged down with hundreds of others doing the same thing. This is quite common.
Even though you will hear from an adjuster shortly after making first contact, it is important to note that priority is given to the most severe cases.
The best thing you can do is make any minor (don’t go overboard) repairs on your own. From there, patience is essential.
2. What should I do if my home is beyond repair (by you) and unlivable? In this case, you don’t want to stick around too long – this could be dangerous. Instead, you should find a hotel that can accommodate your needs. Most insurance companies will cover this expense.
3. The adjuster visited my home several weeks ago but I have yet to receive a check? The process of receiving a check is not as simple as it sounds. Your adjuster cannot simply write you a check and move onto the next home. There is a lot of paperwork that will first need processed. The time is based largely on how many other claims the adjuster and insurance company are dealing with. Since it is likely that you are not the only person dealing with hurricane damage, the wait time could be a bit longer than usual.
4. Wait a second…that check is not nearly as much as I need to make repairs. What now? This is one of the most common complaints. It is also a big fear. In short, if you don’t receive as much as you thought it is likely due to the terms of the policy. Your policy will determine whether you receive the replacement cost or actual cash value. At this point, your adjuster is out of the equation. It is time to contact your insurance agent.