Hurricane Irma left Florida several weeks ago, but the damage still remains. Insurance payments are expected to exceed $25 billion, with FEMA claims possibly reaching $15 billion.
Those who have escaped uninjured from the flooding and winds now have the challenging task of trying to rebuild their homes – and their lives. The first step is doing so is to file an insurance claim. In some ways, the process of filing a hurricane claim is similar to that of a car insurance claim after an accident. However, there are some differences. One of them is that you might have to file claims under multiple types of insurance, depending on the damages you suffered.
Filing a Claim
To get your claim settled promptly, follow these tips:
- File your claim as soon as possible. Many companies take them on a first-come, first-served basis. After you file, keep following up with the insurance company, but know that it may take some time.
- Know what is covered under each policy. If you have flood insurance, homeowner’s insurance, windstorm insurance and car insurance, you will likely need to file a claim with each insurer. This will take some time, but it will ensure that you receive all the possible forms of compensation for your damages. Don’t forget to claim structures such as fences and gazebos.
- Keep detailed documentation. Take notes of your claim number as well as who you speak to so you can access your claim status easily.
- Keep receipts. Any expenses that you had to pay out of pocket for repairs or as a result of having to evacuate—such as meals and hotels—should be accounted for, as you can get reimbursed for these expenses if you file a windstorm claim.
- Be wary of fake claims adjusters. Unfortunately, many people take advantage of tragedies by scamming victims. Do not fall for those going from door to door claiming to be adjusters. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to assess your property damage, but he or she should have proper identification.
If You Don’t Have Insurance
Don’t let a lack of insurance stop you from filing a claim. While some areas are required to have flood insurance, some areas that were flooded by the recent hurricane were not required to. You should file your claim anyway. Homeowner’s policies have many exclusions, but in some cases, they do cover wind and water damage.
If your claim is denied, you have another option. Those who rent and own homes and businesses that were damaged by Hurricane Irma may be able to apply for federal disaster assistance. FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program offers federal aid in 37 counties for those who suffered damages from Hurricane Irma after September 4.
Have You Suffered Property Damage from Hurricane Irma?
Hurricane Irma has caused immense amounts of damage throughout Florida. If you were a victim, file an insurance claim promptly so you don’t lose out on your rights to compensation.
The Miami attorneys at the law offices of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP have experience filing claims for all sorts of situations. We can help you recover the compensation you need to move on after Hurricane Irma. Request a free consultation by calling our law offices today at (305) 371-2692.