The aftermath of a major hurricane can be devastating. With loss of power, property damage, and physical injury comes the need to file an insurance claim for each one-and then some. It’s important to know how to navigate your way through this process in order to get the maximum payout you deserve. This blog post will give you all the information you need on what wind damage insurance claims are, what they cover, and why it’s so important that you make them as soon as possible after any type of disaster strikes.
1. A is for Adjusters
These are the people who will come to your property and assess the damage after your claim is filed.
2. B is for Building
Make sure you know what’s covered in your policy under the building portion of homeowners insurance before filing a claim. It might include things like doors, windows, cabinets, and even the roof-but not the foundation or surrounding property.
3. C is for Coverage
While some losses are covered under basic wind damage insurance policies, others require additional coverage that you may have to pay extra for (like trees destroyed on your property). A great place to start when considering wind damage insurance claims is here.
4. D is for Deductibles
Deductibles vary by company and type of insurance, but they can save you money in the long run because they lower your premium. A deductible is the amount you pay before insurance coverage kicks in, and it’s recommended that you look into different amounts to figure out what works best for your budget.
5. E is for electricity
Make sure to check any appliances and electronics (like refrigerators and ovens) for damage if there was no electricity during or after the disaster. If they were harmed by power surges then it’s considered damage from a hurricane and you should include that on your wind damage insurance claim as well as file an additional one with your provider of electric service.
6. F is for Furniture
Only certain types of furniture are covered under standard homeowners’ policies so be sure to check yours if flooding damaged any pieces.
7. G is for Ground
Make sure you are aware of the terms in your policy about what’s covered, which may differ from company to company. For example, some policies might not cover damage caused by overland flooding.
8. H is for Homeowners
If you have a renters’ insurance policy it will only cover the items that belong to you and aren’t permanently attached to the property.
9. I is for Inventory
Even though this sounds like something that’s optional, taking inventory of your belongings before filing your wind damage insurance claim can save time, money, and frustration. It also helps adjusters determine how much coverage you need. Before leaving or letting anyone inside after a hurricane or other disaster be sure to take pictures and keep a record of each item’s serial number, value, and where it was located in your house. This can make the process more manageable if you ever need to file more than one claim (like for example if you lose your wedding ring).
10. J is for Jointly Owned Property
Some policies will require more money be paid out on a wind damage insurance claim depending on who owns the property and how much of it is damaged. Be sure to read carefully before filing any claims!
11. K is for Knowledge
Having access to information and knowing what steps to take after a hurricane or other disaster damages your home can save time and frustration by getting everything sorted as quickly as possible. The important documents that every homeowner should have access to are: homeowners insurance policy, mortgage statement (if you’re still paying for the property), and auto insurance policy.
12. L is for Limits
Your wind damage insurance claim has a limit on the amount of money that’s paid out depending on what needs to be fixed or replaced. Check your policy or talk with your insurer before filing any claims because if you don’t know how much coverage you have then there might not be enough to fix everything back up to its original state.
13. M is for Moisture
Having too much moisture in your house for an extended period of time after a storm can lead to mold growing so make sure to dry out anything that got wet as quickly as possible after a natural disaster strikes.
14. N is for Notifications
Some insurance companies might not cover damage on properties that have been left abandoned, so keep in contact with them if you can’t get back to your property in a timely manner to let them know what’s going on and when you plan on returning to take care of things.
15. O is for Offers
The insurer that covers your house might offer free or discounted services from a restoration company that could help speed up the process along so it’s best to look everything over and see what would be most beneficial before making any decisions.
16. P is for Photos
Similar to taking inventory of items inside your home, having photos from different angles of all the damage can help you and your insurer get an accurate estimate of what has to be fixed.
17. Q is for Quick
If possible, repairs should be quick in order to prevent further damage from happening due to humidity, heat, cold, or bad weather. So, make sure your insurance company knows what you want done with your house as soon as possible after a hurricane or other disaster strikes.
18. R is for Repairs
The most common insurance claim filed by homeowners after hurricanes comes from wind damage so this will most likely be the main focus of any claims that are submitted. A skilled contractor familiar with construction in your area will be able to give you an idea of how long it’ll take to fix things back up based on the available information.
19. S is for Safety
It’s very important to make sure you and your family are safe before doing anything else after a hurricane or other disaster strikes. Getting out of the way of any dangerous weather is priority number one, but making sure everyone knows exactly what they need to do when a storm hit can help prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
20. T is for Temporary Housing
Since some insurance companies will give homeowners money to stay somewhere temporarily if their home has been severely damaged then be aware that most policies only cover this benefit once per year per covered property. This means that if you’re staying with friends, family, or at a hotel then be sure to let your insurer know so they can keep track of everything.
21. U is for Utility Lines
Regardless of your current living conditions after a disaster, call the utility companies as soon as you can to let them know about any damage so they can send people out to handle fixing things up. It’ll be much easier on everyone if the power, water, natural gas, etc… are already switched off before anything gets fixed so no one gets hurt by live wires or explosions from gas leaks.
22. V is for Verification
If possible then get some kind of verification that something has been done/fixed/replaced in order to speed things along with your insurance company. For example: take photos and videos of broken windows before they’re repaired, have the contractor initial your repair sheet, or have them sign documents after the work has been done so you know they’re not going to come back later and try to charge you for something twice.
23. W is for Water
Standing water in your home can result in mold being a problem so be sure to have any wet areas dried up or otherwise taken care of as soon as possible after a hurricane strikes. If the entire house has gotten soaked then it might be necessary to rip out ruined drywall, insulation, carpeting, etc… in order to prevent further damage from occurring.
24. X is for eXtra Expenses
Although most homeowners’ insurance will cover wind damage that results in things like broken windows, roofs blown off, trees & debris damage, etc… there are some things that aren’t covered. This could include roofs with “scroll design” shingles, mobile homes, trampolines, pools, patios, porches, fountains, stones on the driveway or walkways, plants & trees in concrete planters or tubs that were blown over by heavy winds.
25. Y is for Your Rights
Whether you’re dealing with your insurance company about an insurance claim or you’re talking to them about a policy question after a hurricane then it’s always best to have anyone who represents the company know exactly what your rights are so they don’t try to take advantage of you because you don’t understand how everything works.
26. Z is for Zone Changes
When the areas that your home & car are in get redefined by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) then its insurance rates might change. This means that you’ll either pay more or less for coverage once it’s all said and done.
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