How to File a Hurricane Insurance Claim
Hurricanes damages can be not only devastating, but expensive, costing billions of dollars each year in the U.S. alone. While having insurance against natural disasters can be helpful, it doesn’t guarantee coverage against all damages and hurricane victims are sometimes left to fend for themselves. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to file a successful hurricane insurance claim.
Safely assess and document damages
Do not re-enter your house until it has been deemed safe to do so and be sure to wear appropriate clothing, such as boots and gloves. Document all damages by making a detailed list and photos to go with each item. These records will not only help take inventory of your losses for the insurance companies, but will also serve as evidence later in case of disagreements over insurance claims.
Find out what can be saved. Open windows to air out the home and prevent molding, remove wet items such as rugs and curtains and dry out as much of your flooring and furniture as possible.
Check insurance company website
Since phone lines will likely be busy, check your insurance company’s website first. Most will be prepared and have information on the website which may provide you with some guidance until you’re able to speak to a representative.
Find out what may NOT be covered
There are many types of damages your insurance policy may not cover. Hurricane insurance policies will generally cover damages causes as a result of rain and wind, however flood damage which makes up most of the damage done in hurricanes, is not covered by most standard policies.
Keep record of expenses
Be sure to keep a detailed record all expenses such as evacuation travel and lodging, materials for temporary repairs and other repair services. These expenses may be reimbursed by your insurance company.
Contact an attorney
In some cases, insurance claims must be settled in court, in which case it is helpful to hire an attorney. Keeping a record of all damages and expenses will provide your attorney with evidence to build a stronger case.