Hurricane Florence may have finished, but the damages will remain present for a long time. The most recent reports show that at least 35 people lost their lives during the weekend as Florence hit with storms and flood. It is still too soon to determine the economic loss, but financial experts estimate Florence will have an impact between $17 to $22 billion. Businesses and private property will need a long time to recover, as the Florence aftermath slowly begins.
Those few lucky policyholders who happened to have flood insurance might have an “easier” start. However, regardless of our insurance situation, recovering from Hurricane Florence will be a long and painful process. This is why we want to share some tips on how to deal with your insurance claims. Determining the type of damage, checking our level of insurance, and documenting all the damages are essential to start our recovery process.
Determine the Type of Damage to Your Property
The very first step we must take to start recovering from a hurricane is to determine the type of damage our property has suffered. When a hurricane hits, there are different perils that will affect our home. For insurance purposes, there are two kinds of damage that can happen. The first one would be wind damage. This term might include broken doors or windows. Our roofs and even our garage might also be affected by strong winds.
The other type would be water damage. Water damage is an umbrella term for different types of scenarios. Depending on the situation, water damage can encompass flooding, sudden water discharge, sewer leaks, or storm damage.
Make Sure You Have Insurance for Such Damage
Once we know what kind of damage affected our residency, we must contact our insurance company. We should do this as soon as possible, and make sure if our policy will cover our expenses.
Most, if not all homeowner o renter’s policies will include coverage for wind damage. This means that if we have broken doors, windows, or roofs, the company will cover the expenses. Depending on the company and type of policy, the order of events might be important. For example, strong winds destroyed our roof, and that let the rain inside, damaging or destroying our belongings, we might be covered too.
However, if flood affected our property, our regular home insurance won’t cover the expenses unless we have a separate policy for such situations.
Document All the Items and Structures that Got Damaged or Lost
Once we have contacted our insurance company and we know they will cover our expenses, we must document the damages. Nowadays, most of us have a smartphone with a working camera. Taking detailed photos and videos are a valuable resource. Having a well-documented register of all the property that the hurricane damaged or destroyed will help us ensure we are getting the most out of our policy.
In the case that we did not have an insurance policy, the recovery might be harder. However, we always have the option to ask for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. We can also apply for a Small Business Administration loan, for which we don’t need to be business owners to qualify.