Knowledge is Power: Here’s How to File a Hurricane Claim
With Irma churning in the Atlantic, it looks like a hit on Florida is a given which means now is a great time to learn how to file a hurricane claim Delray Beach FL style. The first step is always to know exactly what your coverage is – keeping in mind that flooding is not covered under a homeowners’ policy but rather through separate flood insurance purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. Your insurance policy documents are as important as birth certificates, car titles, deeds, and other documents that are essential to establishing your identity and/or ownership of property. Of course, during the storm, the number one priority is safety.
After the storm, your first call is to your insurance company. The adjuster will walk through how to file a hurricane claim Delray Beach FL homeowners can rely on. Once you’ve made the first call, document as much of the damage as possible, while remaining safe and avoiding downed power lines and other hazards. Consider taking video as well since pictures may not provide the full picture of the scope of the damage. Make necessary repairs to prevent further damage, if necessary, and if the structure is inhabitable, be sure to give the adjustor your new temporary address.
While you are learning how to file a hurricane claim Delray Beach FL style, keep in mind that you will likely have a special and separate “hurricane deductible” which can range from two to 10 percent of the insured value of your home. No matter the amount of the deductible, it is solely your responsibility. And, remember that insurance companies do not typically pay for debris removal that is on your property that does not cause damage.
At the same time that you are working with the insurance company, you should also keep your attorney apprised of the status of your claim, particularly if your insurance company is slow to act, defers payments, or is otherwise being unreasonably difficult. Of course, document, document, document all interactions with your insurance company as well as possible, down to times and dates when you speak to agents or adjusters.
A claims attorney is also a great source of information on how to file a hurricane claim Delray Beach FL homeowners can use to realize the best return. The attorney can advise you on steps to take when dealing with the insurance company and if necessary, can go to bat in negotiating a good settlement of your claim when the time comes.