As we prepare for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to reach full swing, it is important for homeowners to get ready. While this means stocking up on provisions and making any necessary home repairs, it also means getting ready to file a claim under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
If your home has already been damaged in a hurricane, you can follow this step-by-step guide for protecting your rights. If you are still in a position to plan ahead, here are three tips for getting prepared to deal with your insurance company after a hurricane:
1. Make Sure You Know How to File a Claim
After your home sustains hurricane damage, one of the first things you should do is notify your insurance company. While the insurance claim process can be a struggle – especially after a widespread catastrophic event – contacting your insurance should be fairly easy. As you prepare for hurricane season, make sure you know which company holds your home insurance policy, your policy number and how to file a claim. Your phone is a good place to store this information (since you will likely have your phone with you after a storm), and most major insurers now offer apps that policyholders can use to file their claims.
2. Document Your Property with Photos and Video
One of the biggest struggles homeowners often face with hurricane insurance claims is securing coverage for the full value of their damaged (or lost) property. Insurers regularly deny claims and limit coverage on the basis that there is no proof of the existence or value of property or improvements prior to the storm. To avoid this issue, one of the best things homeowners can do is to create a comprehensive record of their insured property.
Spend 20 or 30 minutes recording video and taking pictures of your home, making sure to include every room and closet and all exterior areas. In addition, make a list of your property including any details (such as brand name and model number) that may not be apparent from your recordings and photos.
3. Have Options for Places to Stay
If your policy includes coverage for alternate housing while your home is uninhabitable, it is a good idea to put together a list of housing options. Your policy should state your daily housing allowance, and you have no reason not to max out this coverage. If you let your insurer choose for you, you can be sure that you will end up in the cheapest option available. Once a storm hits, hotels in the surrounding area will fill up quickly, so it is important to have a list of several options that you can quickly call.
Saavedra | Goodwin – Fort Lauderdale Hurricane Damage Attorneys
The attorneys at Saavedra | Goodwin bring decades of combined experience to representing South Florida homeowners in disputes with their insurance companies. If you have questions about your rights under your policy, or if you are struggling to deal with your insurance company after a hurricane, we encourage you to call (954) 767-6333 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.