Tips for Handling Hurricane Claims
Experts recommend contacting your insurer as soon as possible to file a claim if your business or home has experienced wind, flood, or other damages. It is common for many people to be without power during a hurricane. To make the claims process as smooth as possible, it is essential to inventory lost or damaged property and hang on to any receipts for things you purchase to help with repairs.
Damages associated with severe weather like the wind are usually covered under a standard business, renters, or homeowners’ policy. However, if you have experienced flood damage, you should contact your flood insurer to file flood claims. In addition, you should have coverage for additional living expenses when your property is deemed uninhabitable due to damages through your homeowner's or renters’ policy to help cover expenses like laundry service, overnight parking, restaurant meals, and temporary housing. But, again, check with your insurer to learn more about what your policy covers.
It is essential to be on the lookout for dishonest third parties and contractors who go door to door after severe weather to scam people needing repairs. Before signing any repair contracts, always speak with your insurance company to ensure you are covered, then find a reputable, licensed professional to do the work.
Our public claims adjuster in Central Florida offers the following tips for handling hurricane damage claims.
Things to do when your house is damaged
- Call your insurer right away to make a claim. Try to have your policy number ready. You do not have to wait to return home to begin your claim if you are evacuated. Instead, you can call your insurance company to start the claims process.
- Videotape or take pictures of damages to share with your insurance company, but don’t forget to keep a copy for your own records.
- If it is safe to do so, make temporary repairs to prevent further damages. But, again, under your policy, this is your responsibility.
- Save all receipts for materials you buy to help with repairs to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
- Avoid getting rid of damaged items until after a visit from an adjuster. In some cases, you may be able to work with an adjuster through video instead of an in-person visit due to virtual claims solutions in place to keep the process efficient and safe.
Things to do if your home is flooded
- Scrape or shovel mud off of walls, furniture, and flooring before it dries. Then use a hose to wash the walls with clean water from the ceiling down.
- Major appliances like stoves and refrigerators can be thoroughly washed and dried. These items are usually not damaged unless they were plugged in when covered with water.
- Use diluted bleach to clean and control odors on floors, walls, appliances, and household items.
- Dry wood items outside, but not in direct sunlight. Remove the drawers and other moving parts before drying.
- Wash and sterilize food equipment and utensils before use. Discard any food that was open and exposed to floodwaters.
These are just some tips to keep in mind for handling hurricane claims. Contact us today to speak with a public claims adjuster in Central Florida. We are here to help!