Hurricane Insurance Claim Tips
This past weekend many people all along the east coast sat through a hurricane. If your home has been affected by Hurricane Irene, or any other storm, here is some quick advise on how to expedite a claim.
- Make a list of your possessions that were damaged.
- Take pictures of flooding, wind damage, etc. It may be a while before an insurance adjuster can make it out and you may often have to clean up debris so it is important to have proof of all the damage.
- Do what you can to protect your home: board it up, put up a tarp if your roof is damaged, etc.
- Know what your deductible is. You may have to pay for smaller repairs out of pocket versus filing a claim.
- Start getting estimates from a few contractors, but DON’T hire them unless absolutely necessary until your insurance company has approved it, or recommended another contractor.
- If you do need to hire someone, DO NOT pay them up front. Pay when the job is done. Many people have been ripped off and their repairs left undone.
- Keep receipt for temporary living expenses (car rental, hotel if needed, food if you have no power, etc.)
- Document, document, document. Keep track of how many times you call your insurance company with dates and times and who you spoke with.
- Copy everything you give the adjuster and ask for a receipt. If the adjuster advises you to start repairs, get that permission in writing.
- Do not settle with the adjuster on the spot if you have major damage. Adjusters can give you money at the time they visit, however make sure you are not signing away your rights to process further claims.