After Hurricane Irma last year, many Floridians were not entirely sure if they should file a claim for damages from the storm. With the 2018 hurricane season underway, let’s do a review of hurricane insurance, when and when not to file a claim for damages, and how to get insurance claim help.
Hurricane Insurance and Flood Insurance Are Separate Coverages
Unlike your regular homeowner’s insurance, hurricane insurance and flood insurance are additional coverages you must add to be protected. Without these coverages, your insurance company could deny your claim for damages after a major storm.
Each of these separate coverages will also have their own deductible, which could be the same as your regular homeowner’s insurance deductible. In addition, hurricane insurance DOES NOT cover damages from flooding in most cases. If you live in a known flood zone, then you would also want to verify you have a separate flood insurance policy.
When to File a Claim for Damages
You will want to file a claim under your hurricane and/or flood insurance policies if your home sustains any type of damage after the storm passes. Prior to calling your insurance agent to start the claim, it is a good idea to do the following:
- Take pictures of all damages. You want to take as many pictures as you can from as many different angles showing the damages.
- Document all of your losses. Make a list of all damages to the home, as well as all property losses, such as furniture, TVs, appliances, and so on.
- Take notes when you file your claim. When you do file your claim, you will want to take notes and record your claim number and any other such details your agent provides.
- Secure your home against further damages. Your insurance company may require you to make emergency repairs to prevent further damages, like putting tarps over your roof to stop rain from getting inside the home. Keep all of your receipts, as any emergency repairs can also be claimed.
When to Not File a Claim for Damages
The only reasons to not file a claim for damages after a storm are if your home did not get damaged or the costs to fix the damages is less than your deductible. For instance, a hurricane blows down several trees in your yard and you have one window that was broken.
The total amount to clean up the trees and fix the window amounts to $900. You have a $1,000 deductible on your hurricane coverage policy. Filing would not make sense, in this case, as your insurance company would not reimburse you anything because the total repairs are less than the deductible.
The only exception would be after a major storm, like Hurricane Irma, when you may not truly know the extent of the damages. In this case, you may want to start the claim process. As you are cleaning up from the storm, you might uncover further damages that you can add to your claim which could put you over your deductible.
Anytime you need to file any type of homeowner’s insurance claims, it is highly recommended to consult with an insurance claim lawyer at Silver, Bass & Brams to ensure you receive the best insurance settlement. Please feel free to contact us at 1-888-897-1786 today!