Common Mistakes Seen in Hurricane Insurance Claims
The first tropical storm of the season battered Florida with unrelenting wind and rain in the first week of June. With the hurricane season officially started, it’s time for homeowners to prepare themselves in the event that a storm damages or destroys their house.
Insurance carriers are in the business of making money, and sometimes that comes as a result of denying legitimate home insurance claims. There are some common mistakes people make when filling out hurricane insurance claims that can cause them to be denied or delayed. Here is our list of the most common mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Policy Coverage Amounts Are Not Enough To Cover Expenses
The worst thing that can happen to a homeowner after a hurricane is realizing that the policy coverage isn’t enough to cover the necessary expenses. There are many aspects of your home, property, and possessions that you need to take into consideration when purchasing or updating your homeowner’s insurance for hurricanes.
You need enough insurance to cover the structure of your home, your personal possessions, your liability to others, and the cost of additional living expenses if your home is damaged and you are forced to live elsewhere during repairs.
When determining the total amount needed for your home, don’t simply assume that the cost that you purchased your home will replace it. Many factors come into play to determine the cost of rebuilding or repairing, and research is necessary to get the best figure for your situation. A thorough home inventory listing should give you a good idea of the value of your possessions. Don’t forget to go through each room, closet, and the garage as well, as items can quickly add up.
Coverage Is Restricted Or Unavailable For Certain Items
Don’t assume that every aspect of your property is covered under your homeowner’s insurance. There are some items that may become damaged or destroyed that are not covered under a regular policy.
The most common items damaged during a storm but may not be included in your insurance policy are seawalls, pools, pool enclosures, screened sunrooms, awnings, porches, docks, boat lifts, car ports, or fencing. When determining the right insurance policy for your home, verify which items are covered or not, and obtain the additional coverage if necessary.
Proper Procedure Is Not Followed When Filing A Claim
Insurance carriers and adjusters have many claims coming in all the time, and a claim with incomplete or incorrect information or missing forms will generally be denied without much thought.
When filing a claim with your insurance carrier after a storm or loss, be aware of any requirements your insurance policy demands. Inform your insurance agent of the damage and submit the claim as quickly as possible. Verify that all the required forms and documentation are completed and submitted together. Following proper procedure and making the process as simple as possible for the adjuster will help ensure a quick and positive turnaround for your claim.
Confusing Or Misunderstood Deductible Requirements
Many people don’t realize that their insurance policy may include a separate hurricane or storm deductible. Homeowners policies in 19 states have some version of this storm deductible, including Florida. While homeowner’s policies generally have a flat deductible for damage caused by a covered peril, a hurricane or storm deductible is generally a percentage based on the insured value. For instance, if your hurricane deductible is 5% on a $250,000 policy, your deductible would be $12,500.
Deductibles are generally located on the “declarations” page of your insurance policy, though your policy may require further reading for specifics, coverage limits, and exclusions. When in doubt, your best course of action is to reach out to your insurance agent and request clarification.
Understanding the requirements and specifics of your homeowner’s insurance policy can help you avoid frustration and a denied claim. Avoid these common mistakes when filing claims and get your family and home back to normal as quickly and painlessly as possible.
If you still need guidance, please feel free to schedule your free case evaluation to see how Haahr Law Group may be able to help you get the money you deserve.