Here’s what you need to know.
After a hurricane, it is rare not to have some impact to your property. Hurricanes are mother nature’s way of cleaning up her yard such as blowing away dead tree limbs and branches which could result in damage to your home or vehicles.
While your first reaction may be to call your insurance company, it’s important to note that most policies have an increased deductible when it involves a hurricane. So you’ll need to first determine if the damage exceeds your deductible. For instance, if you have $2,500 in damage and a $4,000 deductible, filing a claim is the last thing you’ll want to do. Not only will your claim get denied, they’ll be contacting you to make sure all damage has been repaired to their specifications.
Get all the numbers and know where you stand. Your agent should be able to assist you with this with a quick call. Also, request that your agent documents your call to find out whether or not to file a claim. Your next step is to get estimates.
Why estimates? They serve two purposes.
- They help determine if your damages exceed your deductible and warrant a claim.
- It’s good to understand that most adjusters immediately after a hurricane are generalists such as an electrician. If you have an electrical claim, that’s the adjuster you want. That same electrician also assesses other damage, such as your roof, which gives you a head start on resolving your claim.
With the information you’ve gathered, you can now make a decision to proceed with a claim or not.
Your agent is your resource on filing a claim. Insurance companies look at claims all the same whether it’s a $5,000 claim, a $15,000 claim, or a claim filed that pays zero. That matters because it has an impact on your ability to shop for insurance in the future, or worse, subject you to a non-renewal from a denied or an unpaid claim.