If your home or property has been damaged due to the hurricane, it is your responsibility to take action to prevent further damage.
Save all receipts from your temporary repairs.
If you’re not sure it’s safe, professionals can help, and you should hire a local contractor who specializes in this kind of work.
You can report your claim one of two ways. Be ready to provide a general description of your damage.
Make a complete list of items that were damaged by the hurricane. This will help expedite the claims process. Document the damage with photos and videos.
Don’t throw out damaged items, especially expensive items.
Most insurance companies require that you to wait until the damage to your property has been assessed by a claims representative before you begin making permanent repairs.
However, you should schedule a contractor to make permanent repairs as soon as possible because contractors can be difficult to schedule after a storm.
Check your policy to see what’s covered and the deductible you chose when you purchased the policy. Reviewing your policy will help you prepare questions for your claims representative.
Your insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair common hurricane damage—including damage to roofs, walls, cars, and your belongings. Your deductible applies, however. You also may have a higher deductible for wind/hail damage that applies to hurricanes.
If you can’t live in your home, your insurance company may pay additional living expenses, as noted in your policy, while the damage is assessed and your home is being repaired or rebuilt. If repairs take longer than the period of time covered in your policy, you may be eligible for additional assistance from federal emergency programs.
Remember that most home and business insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If you purchased a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program, contact your agent to file a claim for flood-related damages.
Your insurance company will replace damaged items and materials with the same type and quality of materials you had before the hurricane. For example, if you had a fiberglass roof, they will pay to repair or replace damage with fiberglass materials, but they won’t pay to replace it with more expensive slate tile.
If damage is extensive, people sometimes decide to take the opportunity to upgrade their property with better or more expensive materials.
If you want to pay the additional expense to upgrade, you’re welcome to do so out of your personal budget.
Any time you make improvements to your property, let us know to make sure you have enough insurance coverage, and to find out if you are eligible for new discounts as a result of your home improvements.