6 Steps To Take When A Hurricane Damages Your Home

6 Steps To Take When A Hurricane Damages Your Home
  • Opening Intro -

    Some parts of the United States are used to harsh weather, for example, Florida.

    Heavy winds, hailstorms, and hurricanes characterize this geographical area, and homeowners suffer huge losses when such natural disasters wreak havoc in their homes.

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Although these disasters are natural, losses aren’t always irreparable. For example, you can get compensation from your insurance company to cover repair and property damages caused by a hurricane. But there are due procedures to follow.

If you have suffered property damage due to the hurricane, here are steps to take.

1. Call your insurance agent

Your insurance agent is your representative in critical times like this, and they should be your first go-to. They can help you file a claim with your insurance company while you look for where to stay safe after the incident.

Ensure you ask questions like:

  1. What information should you start gathering before the insurance company comes?
  2. How long do you have to wait?
  3. What kind of damages does the insurance cover?

Remember that although the hurricane may cause damage to your car, you must look to your car insurance to cover it rather than your home insurance. So you may be filing multiple insurance claims.

2. Speak with an attorney

Although your insurance agent can help you file your claim, there are instances where your insurance company may look to provide you with as little coverage as possible. They may even deny responsibility for certain damages.

Insurance companies are businesses, so they deal on profit and revenue rather than empathy. To ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve, it is often wise to have hurricane insurance claims lawyers by your side.

This is a must if your insurance company flat out denies your claim or is unwilling to cover part of the property damage the hurricane has caused.

3. Take pictures of the damage

While waiting to hear from your insurance company, you want to gather as much evidence of the incident as possible. Photographic evidence is hard to deny, so this is what you should look to.

It is best to also have photos of your home before the incident, to verify what damages the hurricane caused. By having such documentation, you’ll have hard evidence regarding how hard the incident affected your property.

4. Prepare for the claims adjuster

The insurance company will send someone known as a claims adjuster to your home to take documentation of the damage, so it’s an excellent idea to have your own records for validation. This person’s assessment may determine the amount of compensation you get.

It’s, therefore, crucial to ensure your documentation corresponds with theirs, and it’s wise to have your lawyer with you.

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They may also ask you to fill out a Proof of Loss. It’s all about listing your entire possessions at home to determine what has been destroyed in the storm. Don’t worry if you don’t remember all the items now.

Even when you’ve submitted the Proof of Loss, you can still claim them with insurance when you remember later.

5. Start the restoration process

After assessing your damage, you will realize the intensity of work required, whether a rebuild or minor repairs. You may begin before receiving your compensation, but ensure you have all the photos, videos, and documentation of the damage secured.

Many contractors will meet you after such disasters, but it’s important to choose only a licensed one you know. You may have to work with several contractors like plumbers, builders, water restoration professionals, electricians, etc.

6. Document the entire restoration process

It’s important to keep proper documentation from the moment you start discussing with the insurance claims adjuster until the repair is completed.
Whatever expert you work with, ensure you ask for specific details about cost, scope, materials, etc., and put it all in writing.

Record every purchase you make. These receipts will be required when the insurance company wants to reimburse you. They cannot pay replacement costs when there’s no evidence that items have been purchased.

Additionally, situations may arise that require you to verify some information, and your documentation will rise to the rescue.

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Wrapping up

Every homeowner — or at least most — has homeowner insurance. However, not many care to study it to know their rights because they do not expect to ever use it. Who prays to have their home destroyed by a hurricane?

However, your rights in homeowners policy are limited to certain damages. For example, hurricanes usually involve flood and wind damage, but these aren’t covered by homeowners insurance.

Your attorney or insurance agent can help you navigate your situation and determine what claims to make and where to make them.

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Image credit: steps to take when a hurricane damages your home by twenty20.com

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