Category 4 Hurricane Ian devastated Florida and the Carolinas last week and is currently headed north towards Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Hundreds of thousands of people remain without power, and reports are still coming in. Although the full extent of the damage caused by this tropical cyclone remains to be known, experts say there are already certain steps in place that people can begin taking as they embark on the long road to financial recovery. Many families saw their homes leveled to the ground, belongings washed away, cars completely waterlogged, and lives turned upside down. Every last penny matters when you’re starting the slow recovery process- and even more so when inflation is driving up costs. This is why it’s key to have an understanding of insurance coverage and how to navigate the claims process ahead.
What Insurance Policies Cover For Hurricane Ian
Most standard homeowners, renters, and business insurance policies cover wind damage. A renter’s policy would cover possessions lost in the storm, while a landlord’s policy would cover damage to the structure. Flood insurance is a separate policy, and “optional comprehensive” portions of auto insurance should cover private-passenger vehicles flooded by water or damaged by wind. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1.6 million Florida residents have flood insurance. One major challenge for insurers and claimants alike is figuring out where wind damage stops and flood damage begins. Many homeowners policies may cover wind-damage coverage, but that’s not always the case. To help you organize paperwork and evidence for an insurance claim while you are busy recuperating with your family, you may want to hire a public adjuster.
Steps To Take After Hurricane Ian
Whatever your situation may be, here are some basic steps you should take to help ensure that your insurance will pay the compensation you are entitled to during this trying time.
- Document everything: Freshly chronicling the full extent of damage caused by the storm is essential. Take pictures and video of everything as soon as you’re able, including photos of how high the water reached and the surrounding damage near your property. Hold on to copies of all photos, documents, and receipts you give to insurance company adjusters and staff.
- Keep records: Maintain a journal of times and dates spent on insurance coverage, and record everything related to insurance adjustment, damaged items (don’t throw those away), and receipts from living costs you had to spend while your home is being repaired. FEMA advises flood insurance policyholders to report the loss to their insurer immediately, and to ask about advance payments.
- Damage control: If there is damage like a hole in your roof that exposes insured property to the elements, you must take reasonable steps to prevent additional damage, such as temporary sealing methods and tarps. Don’t put yourself in danger or attempt dangerous home fixes, but your insurer will expect fixes within reasonable means.
Contact Us Today
If you were impacted by Hurricane Ian, your first priority will be to make sure you and your family are safe and okay. An experienced property insurance attorney can help you during this trying time while you and your family recover physically and emotionally. Call Craig D. Rolle to speak with a top Florida insurance attorney now.