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Hurricane Irma - Insurance Help
by Emily Rogan
If your home or business has been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma, United Policyholders' Roadmap to Recovery® program will help guide you in valuing and documenting your loss, understanding insurance rules, settling your insurance claims fairly and finding qualified professional, charitable and government help.
At this time, take care of your family's immediate needs first. If you are in a mandatory evacuation zone, you may be able to access insurance funds through your "Additional Living Expense" Coverage.
Once you are able to return to your home, focus on documenting by completely inventorying and valuing all damage and costs to repair or replace your property, regardless of your insurance situation. If your rental, home or business was insured for flood damage, there are some differences in how a flood versus a home insurance claim gets adjusted and settled, but many similarities. Wind damage will be covered under your homeowner's policy, while flood damage caused by storm surge should be covered under your flood policy.
Every type of insurance policy contains a deadline for submitting your proof of your loss and claim. NFIP flood policies usually require a complete proof of loss to be submitted within 60 days of the storm but FEMA may extend this deadline.
Check your home and wind policies for special deductibles or coverages related to Hurricane damage. You'll find lots of information in our library, tips, videos and tools. We're rooting for your recovery and are here to help.
- Take photos of the damage before any clean-up or repairs are done.
- Keep a diary of conversations with insurance, repair, government and other professionals.
- Focus on drying/cleaning out, avoiding further damage, while getting all damage inspected, measured and estimated by qualified, reputable and independent experts.
- Flood insurance policies have different rules than home insurance policies.
- Start working on a detailed and itemized "proof of loss" form but don't rush and leave things out.
- Give your home and/or flood insurer a chance to do the right thing, but advocate for yourself and be prepared to get help if you’re not being treated fairly. Sources of help include professional claim advocates and attorneys, FEMA, and your state's Department of Insurance. You may have damage covered by both your homeowners and flood policies. Please visit our State-by-State library for additional resources.
- If a home or flood insurance adjuster says damage isn’t covered, but you feel it should be, get an independent professional opinion before giving up on getting some or all of your claim paid.
Additional Self-Help Resources Include: