18 Sep Hurricane Irma – the aftermath
Hurricane Irma hit Florida on the heels of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and brought destructive wind damage and flooding to homes and businesses across Florida, and all the way up into Georgia and the Carolinas. The evacuation, though tough for many, was the difference between life and death in the path of its destruction.
While the cleanup begins in the aftermath, as a business owner and homeowner, you will have many questions about your policies, coverages, and deductibles, as you get back on your feet again. Our team is here to help you with that process.
“Will my policy help me out now?” is the most asked question from our clients, followed by “What is my deductible?”
Deductibles can be different when there is a ‘named storm’ involved like a Hurricane or Tropical Storm. The Wind or Flood policy deductible is usually higher than a traditional deductible, but the coverage can be more expansive. For businesses your property, vehicles and signs may have been damaged and we always recommend taking pictures and video, and making lists of all items that can be supplied to your carrier for claims.
For Homeowner’s, you could have a Master Homeowners Association policy, your own personal HO policy, a Flood Policy, Excess Flood Policy, Wind/Hail policy, Auto policy, Boat policy, and even a Pet Insurance policy! Each policy has its own coverages, exclusions, and deductibles. We will walk you through these once you assess the damage.
Documenting Losses and File Claims – CAUTION!
Just a reminder for filing claims from Hurricane Irma. We want to bring to your attention that Companies are asking customers to not sign over the rights to your claims money to ANYONE!!! Your carrier may only work with specific approved vendors that they know and trust.
In the meantime, please look at these tips on what to do next:
1. Make temporary repairs to prevent any further damage
2. Contact us as soon as possible
3. If you need to relocate, keep your receipts
4. Prepare for the claims adjuster’s visits
5. Take inventory
6. Work only with ‘approved’ vendors
Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement. Remember that payments for temporary repairs are part of the total settlement. So, if you pay a contractor a large sum for a temporary repair job, you may not have enough money for permanent repairs. Beware of contractors who ask for a large amount of money up front and contractors whose bids are very low — they might cut corners and do shabby work. Don’t make extensive permanent repairs until the claims adjuster has assessed the damage.
Hurricane Irma may have taken us down for a short period of time, but your insurance is there to repair, restore, and regrow in the aftermath, and so are we.
Call us with your claims and we will walk you through the process! 561-276-5221