Hurricane Wind Loss

A hurricane insurance claim is a common type of wind loss in Florida. When a hurricane makes a direct hit on a major city, the insured should present their insurance claim loss quickly and precisely. Hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and ends on November 30, but August through October is usually the most active time of the year. AA Florida Public Adjusting Agency can assist you with presenting your claim and securing a fair and honest settlement.

A hurricane can cause more damage in one hour than the total of all regular insurance claims made during the entire policy period. The size of the storm, the wind speed, and location of landfall will help determine how to proceed with your claim. If the hurricane is large, and it hits a highly populated area, make your claim of damages as soon as possible. I recommend getting a copy of your estimate of loss to your insurance company, even before they come to inspect. If your company is small and independent adjusters are few, it may be long time before someone inspects your loss. Wait too long and funds to pay your claim may be exhausted, and your settlement may be stalled for a considerable length of time.

You need to document your loss through pictures, but knowing what items to photograph is the real question. When viewing the insured's pictures, I have seen countless pictures of the same damage over and over. The insurance company does not need 20 pictures of a roof when the roof is completely decimated. You need pictures of items such as water damage to a room, when the ceiling is still intact. You need pictures of the carpeting saturated in water, before it dries out three weeks later and now has mold on the bottom side. You need to show the carpet was not covered with mold right after the storm. See method to take photos

You need to protect the property from further damage. If you fall to take appropriate actions, your claim may be in jeopardy. Be mindful that after a storm not everyone has your best interest at heart. Document what steps you took in drying out your carpet. If you cannot get someone to dry it for you, document your efforts to hire such a person. If you decide not to dry your carpet because you believe it is totally ruined, you should speak with a public adjuster or an attorney concerning this choice. Do not loose claim benefits by making an uninformed choice. If you are charged $14,000.00 to dry out your home and your home is later completely gutted, you may have wasted $14,000.00 or that $14,000.00 may have been a very good investment. Do you know why? Should you keep your agent informed when making these type of choices? Should you keep him informed by telephone, email, or letter? See Wind article for additional advice

Remember you have a hurricane deductible. This deductible is usually a percentage for which your home is insured f. 2%, 5%, and even 10% are not uncommon percentages for the deductible. You should realize if your home is insured for $150,000.00 and you have a 10% deductible, you will have to pay $15,000.00 out of your own pocket. I recommend you discuss the best deductible for your financial status with your agent or broker before the loss.

Gary Laird Ahrens • PA License # A002288 • Firm License # G008507 • AA Florida Public Adjusting Agency, LLC • 34540 Appaloosa Trl., Zephyrhills, FL 33541 • 866-993-3760

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