Hurricane Insurance

When a hurricane comes, it brings with it damage, devastation, and even death. Homeowners can do things to try to ward off some of the damage, such as boarding up their windows and doors, but many storms bring damage in spite of the best precautions. If your home is damaged, what will happen to you?

The most common homeowner's insurance policy, known as the homeowners-3 or HO-3, will cover the damage from a hurricane, but there are often exclusions to the coverage outlined within the policy. For instance, this type of insurance does not usually cover damage caused by a hurricane's flood. suggests that all homeowners look carefully at their policies before they face a storm to see what is covered, because there is quite a bit of difference between policies.

If you are living with a home that has been damaged in a hurricane, provides the following suggestions for ways you can get back to normal.

Make temporary repairs to secure the building – Do what you have to in order to make your home livable and prevent any more damage from occurring. However, do not put a lot of money into your home, because you must wait until the adjuster appraises the damages. Do hang on to your receipts so you can be reimbursed.

Report the loss by calling your insurance company – Call your agent to get the information you need. Be patient, though, if the damage was widespread, because your agent may be overwhelmed with claims.

Save all receipts – If you have to move somewhere temporarily, save the receipts from your living expenses, including things like housing costs, storage, rental of furniture, and food. You should get an advance from your insurance company for these expenses.

List the property that has been damaged – Include as many details as you can, such as models, makes, and serial numbers. Photograph the damaged items if you can. Keep your receipts and old bills organized, if you can find them, so you can establish the worth of your belongings. If you must, rely on your memory. However, do not throw anything out until the adjuster has seen and appraised it.

Identify structural damage – Look at the sheds, pool, and garage where applicable. Check the structure for cracks, missing tiles, or missing shingles. A licensed engineer can look at the structure for you to point out the things you don't notice. Be sure to hire an electrician and a plumber to inspect the home as well. This will likely be covered in your insurance policy. Take this time to get quotes for the repairs from these professionals.

Have the damage appraised by an adjuster – Your insurance agent should make arrangements for the adjuster to come, free of charge. If you need to, hire a public adjuster. Ask for a complete inspection and appraisal of the property. Make arrangements for a second visit if needed. Point out all damaged areas to the appraiser.

Fill in all forms – Complete the "proof of loss" forms, which your insurance company should send to you. Keep copies for yourself, and send them back as soon as you possibly can. If the insurance company needs other documents to prove your losses, send them copies, but keep the originals.