The Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters provides these pointers to help homeowners to be ready, in case a major storm hits.
If storm damage does occur, you need a firm understanding of your current insurance policy and what steps are necessary to file a claim, the organization says, in a news release.
It recommends that homeowners:
- Know what their policy covers and doesn’t cover. Not all policies are the same. Be sure you are aware of any restrictions in your policy.
- Make sure your deductible isn’t too high. That’s the out-of-pocket expense you will have to absorb if you have a loss.
- Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
- Be sure you purchase flood insurance before a major storm threatens. Be aware that flood insurance doesn’t go into effect for 30 days.
- Review the “duties after loss” section of your policy. Failure to follow these provisions could result in a nonpayment of a legitimate claim.
- Check the “exclusions” portion of your windstorm policy. Many insurance companies have added new exclusions to coverage, which could affect your protection.
- Make a visual record of your home and possessions. Use a digital camera, smartphone or video recorder to document the condition of your home and belongings before any damage occurs.
- Prepare a detailed list of your personal property. This will help you document your claim after a loss. Gather your receipts for large items, such as major appliances, furniture and appliances. Make copies to include with your property inventory.
- Create a disaster supply kit that includes copies of your insurance policies, family medical information, deeds, wills and so on. Place the originals in a safe place, and keep a digital copy in the cloud for easy reference.
If your property sustains damage, be sure to hire only licensed, trained public insurance adjusters rather than roofers, contractors or restoration consultants to represent you in filing a claim.
To learn more about public adjusters, visit GetReadyFlorida.com.
Published September 29, 2021
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