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Hurricane Insurance Claim FAQs

I filed a hurricane insurance claim. Is there anything I can do to speed up the insurance claim process?

Yes. In a mass catastrophe situation insurance companies will give priority to the most severe losses. It could take weeks or even a month for a claim adjuster to inspect your property and start work on your hurricane claim. Hiring an experienced hurricane claim adjuster- a public adjuster- will give you a head start on the claim process.

If you’re not ready to hire a public adjuster then start by getting at least two repair estimates from licensed and reputable general contractors. The estimates should detail the cost to rebuild your home to it’s pre-loss condition. Do not sign any work authorization contract until you and the insurance company agree upon a damage value.

Lastly, compile a list of personal property or business property that was damaged by the hurricane. This should be done on a spreadsheet and include details such as the item description, age, quantity and cost to replace.

How can hiring my own hurricane claim adjuster benefit me and my insurance claim?

An experienced wind and hurricane claim adjuster- a public adjuster- has the skills, time and resources needed to document your claim, compile a comprehensive claim package and negotiate the largest possible settlement with the least amount of hassle from the insurance company.

A hurricane blew off a few shingles on a section of my roof and another rain storm is on the horizon. Should I make temporary repairs even though the insurance company hasn't inspected the damage yet?

Yes. Most insurance policies require policyholders to mitigate the storm or hurricane damage. By securing the roof you will likely prevent further losses. Make sure to photograph the roof damage and the temporary repairs you’re doing and save all receipts.

We have about $10,000 worth of hurricane damage and what I thought was a $500 deductible. However, my insurance company tells me since the damage is from a hurricane, the insurance deductible is $15,000 and we must pay for everything out of pocket. Is this a scam?

Unfortunately, no. Many hurricane-prone states have separate deductibles for hurricane insurance claims. Hurricane deductibles typically range from 1 to 5 percent of the home’s value. A 5 percent hurricane deductible on a $300,000 home would equal $15,000. But, your out-of-pocket may not be that much. A thorough investigation into all damages may uncover damages that went previously unseen and documented.

How do I choose the best public adjuster to handle my hurricane claim?

Since experience cannot be replaced, hire a public adjuster that has proven experience documenting and negotiating hurricane and wind claims. There are often hundreds of unqualified claim adjusters soliciting business after a mass catastrophe. The public adjuster you hire should have a local address, a valid and verified public adjuster license and a list of referrals for hurricane and wind claims.

What is a windstorm?

The insurance industry tends to lump various types of perils into the broader “windstorm” category. Windstorms typically include tornadoes, hail, hurricanes, and high winds. Windstorms can cause a wide variety of damage. For example, with wind-driven wildfires, a damaged property may have a combination of windstorm and fire damage while the high winds of a hurricane or tropical storm could blow off the roof and drive rain and hail into the home.

If you have property damage then a trusted public adjuster can advise you of what type of insurance claim to file.

The hurricane damaged my home so badly that it is not in livable condition. Where do I start?

Secure your home and mitigate the damages caused by the hurricane. This could include having unsecured doors and windows boarded and your roof tarpped. Start looking for temporary housing and keep all receipts for food, repairs and other items. We recommend purchasing a binder and keeping a daily log of all and money spent. This could include expenses for gas, miles, food, hotels, clothing, etc. Staple the receipts to the daily log. Most homeowner insurance policies include a coverage for “Additional Living Expense.” This provision provides reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred over and beyond normal costs to live. The daily expense log will make filing an ALE claim easy.

Often times, insurance companies are too slow or incorrectly underpay and even deny hurricane claim settlements. It’s your right to have your claim assessed, adjusted and settled in a timely and fair manner. We can help.