How to Claim Insurance After a Hurricane

Florida residents are facing another hurricane this season. An alert has been released for some parts of the state, including the area that goes from Miami to Melbourne. The Hurricane Matthew and hit the Bahamas on Thursday, October 6, 2016. Matthew is currently diagnosed as a Category 3 hurricane, but as you go is gaining more strength and when impacting the state of Florida is category 4. Areas Florida will be affected by the hurricane and by tropical storms. The vast majority of schools in the counties of central Florida will remain closed until Friday, before the imminent arrival of Hurricane Matthew.

“Do not take a chance. A small detour from the storm can mean a lot, and that is why we must prepare for the possibility of the hurricane impacting us directly. So, I repeat, if you qualify to evacuate and have not yet done so, do so. Otherwise, this storm will kill him. We are running out of time, “Governor Rick Scott said today at a press conference.

It is essential to be prepared for this potential disaster and remain alert to evacuation orders in your area.


When your insurance company does not protect you as it should

Hurricanes are the most destructive force in nature, with the particularity of ruining houses and entire communities in just a few hours. An unexpected loss of your property or business, added to the emotional consequences, can be devastating. Having insurance should offer you some peace of mind, knowing that the damage is covered.

Either way, it may not be your case. Perhaps, even though you pay for your insurance every month, when you truly need your insurance company, look for and find a way to pay as little as possible, or avoid paying for the damages your property has suffered.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane season runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. Since 1968, the number of storms that is formed each year is, on average, 12, and the number of major hurricanes is an average of two.

Considering the frequency of these devastating storms, owners along the coast and other areas susceptible to hurricane damage should make sure their insurance covers the damage, and learn what to do after the storm, so be able to start with the reconstruction as soon as possible.


Most common losses

Hurricanes usually bring strong winds and storms. After these natural forces move around inhabited areas, the landscape is comparable to that of a war zone.

The magnitude of the damage will depend on the power of the hurricane. The force of the hurricane can be categorized from one to five, depending on the force of the wind that accompanies the storm. And beyond this force, hurricanes bring with them five major threats that populations should be aware of when dealing with property damage.

The wind speed is the determining factor to refer to the strength of a hurricane, and is also probably the main danger. The strength measurement of a hurricane is based on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, which provides a category number and the type of damage that can be expected from each of these categories.


Category 1: Storms with gusts of wind over 74 mph. They are strong enough to damage roofs, shingles, vinyl siding, and gutters. Larger branches of trees can also break and trees with shallow roots can be felled. Damage to power lines and light poles that cause power outages can also be expected.

Category 2: Storms with gusts of wind above 96 mph. They can cause great damage to the roof and the lining of houses, tear trees and damage more severely the power lines.

Category 3: Storms with gusts of wind above 111 mph. These damage properties more severely than Category 2 hurricanes. These storms can knock down trees with deeper roots and collapse electricity and water systems.

Category 4: Storms with gusts of wind above 131 mph. These can seriously damage properties, including the loss of roofs, and even tear down walls. Most of the trees will be felled, as will the electricity poles, which can make rescue work in residential areas difficult.

Category 5: These are storms with gusts of wind above 155 mph, considered the most dangerous. Only three Category 5 hurricanes have reached US lands, with Andrew being the most recent in 1992. These hurricanes have the ability to destroy solidly built houses causing roof breaks, wall collapses, trees with deep roots and transforming traffic signals in powerful projectiles.

Hurricanes are also known to bring torrential rains. The amount of water is not related to the force of the storm, but to how quickly the storm moves. When storms move more slowly and stay in the same place for longer, the amount of water is greater.


Steps to follow after the hurricane

Unfortunately, even when all the measures to protect our homes are taken, it is very likely that our house will be damaged after the passage of a hurricane. If your property and / or your business is damaged, it is convenient that you follow the following steps to make sure that the claim to your insurance company is successful. That’s why the following steps are important.


Protect your damaged property

It is important that, if your property is damaged, cover it with a tarp, an awning or something similar to prevent it from flooding or deteriorating further. Remember, the insurance company will do what it can to not cover the costs of the damages. If they claim that your damaged property was further damaged after the hurricane, they will probably blame you and deny your claim.


Document everything

It is recommended that you start from the outside and document your entire house, the four sides and as much roof as possible. Be sure to take pictures of your entire garden. Start by taking some that cover your entire garden and then take out others that show the areas of the place more in detail. Then, enter the house and start taking pictures of the interior. Start by taking pictures of all the rooms and then take pictures of the objects in particular. A complete photographic file is essential when checking losses. While you are taking the photographs, it is important to make an inventory of your objects. They will also help at the time of the claim with the insurance company.

File a claim with the insurance company immediately

The rules of the insurance companies require that one act immediately after the damage caused by the storm. This is why it is extremely important that you take photographs, take an inventory and make your claim as soon as possible.


What does my insurance cover?

Generally, there is no such thing as hurricane insurance, since property insurance usually covers damage caused by the wind, although flood insurance is something that is purchased separately. What these insurance cover depends on the state of the country in which the property is located, so it is recommended to be aware of what the rules are in the state in which one has the property.

For example, in Florida, property insurance generally covers damage caused by wind, which means that if your roof or walls are ruined by the wind, these damages will be covered by the insurance company. Either way, this is just an example about a state; if you live in someone else, the rules will be different.

Here are some tactics that insurance companies use to complicate the damage collection:

  • Deny that coverage exists
  • Deny parts of your complaint
  • Delay the processes, adjustments or payments of your claim
  • Deny the corresponding payment
  • Offer smaller sums than those that correspond
  • Say that you need a lawyer to resolve your claim

If you face any of these problems, or any other dispute with your insurance company, managing the situation can take a long time and be complicated. If you do not have the necessary savings to repair the damage on your own, the money the insurance company owes you will be critical to rebuilding your home or your business. Another alternative is to use the savings that you made as a product of your life’s work to repair the damage caused by the hurricane, instead of paying for college or taking a well-deserved vacation.