Hurricane 2019 season is expected to have 9–15 named storms with 4–8 being hurricanes. 2–4 are predicted to become major hurricanes. Every year, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Six months of potential for hurricanes is a long time, so you should stay prepared. Don’t let a storm take you by unpleasant surprise. Here are seven tasks to do ahead of time in order to successfully secure damage claims:
Secure Your Property
Property insurance companies expect you to properly secure your property before a hurricane or another major storm. Even if a storm is only a tropical depression, take it seriously and secure your property. These storms can damage your home just as a hurricane. Superstorm Sandy caused a great amount of flood damage, making it one of the costliest storms. Hurricane Michael damaged 1,584 buildings out of 1,692 in Mexico Beach. Overall, Hurricane Michael caused around $25 billion in damage.
Take Pictures of Your Property Before and After the Storm
Your property damage claims will go more smoothly if you take pictures of your property before and after the storm. Remember to protect your device from water damage, so you don’t lose the pictures. You can also email the pictures to yourself for a backup.
Collect Important Documents You’ll Need and Protect Them from Damage
Before a hurricane hits, gather your important documents in a folder and then place them in a container that locks securely or a tightly sealed plastic bag.
Documents you need to gather include:
- Insurance policies
- House deeds
- Social security card or green card
- Birth certificate
- Bank records
You should also store medications and cash in sealed plastic bags to protect them from water damage.
Protect Your Electronics from Water Damage
You want to protect as many of your valuables as you can from water damage. Your effort won’t go unnoticed by the insurance company. It will help you keep your premiums low and keep more money in your bank account.
If your property sustains hurricane damage, contact a public adjuster to help you successfully file property damage claims. Many people don’t know that the job of their insurance company is to make it as difficult as possible to cover costs and to pay as little as possible. You can easily get taken advantage of without a public adjuster.
Know What Types of Incidents Are Covered
Refresh your memory on what types of incidents are covered before each named storm hits. Inquiring about what’s covered can work against you. Read over your policy to have the answers to your questions. If you’re still unsure about something, then make it clear any question you ask is theoretical. Your agent may record your questions as an uncovered claim requests when you forget.
Create an Emergency Fund
You should maintain an emergency fund that has six months of your living expenses all yearlong. Having an emergency fund to rely on lets you cover minor hurricane damage, so you don’t get higher premiums from property insurance claims.
Find a Reliable Contractor Ahead of Time
You don’t want to wait until your property is damaged to search for a reliable contractor. Not only is it difficult to make good decisions when you’re feeling stressed, many of the best contractors are going to be busy. Choose a reliable contractor who you can count on over the years. Once you become a regular client of theirs, they will be happy to help you in the aftermath of storms.
If you’re not used to preparing for hurricanes, then you might feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do. Prioritize the tasks you need to complete and tackle them one at a time. Although hurricane 2019 season has already begun, get as much done as you possibly can. You will be in a better position that way in the worst case scenario. By next year’s hurricane season, you will be better prepared, which will give you confidence and peace of mind.
Southeast Public Adjusters is a top insurance claims adjuster serving Florida residents. Contact us if you have suffered from wind, storm, hurricane or other types of property damage, and we will help you with your claim.