Info to help you get started recovering...
Info to help you get started rebuilding
If you have suffered damage to your property, it is important to prioritize safety and take steps to minimize the risk of further damage. Here are some steps you can take:
- Assess your property for damage and determine the location of your personal belongings. This will help you identify any areas that may be unsafe to enter or that may require immediate attention.
- Collect any irreplaceable items, such as documents, photos, and heirlooms, and store them in a safe location. This will help protect these items from further damage and ensure that they are not lost.
- Communicate with your insurance company to let them know that you have a claim. Be prepared to provide details about the damages you have observed and any other relevant information.
- Take photos of your entire property from a distance, as well as photos of each room and all of your personal possessions. This will help document the extent of the damages for your insurance claim and provide visual evidence for the insurance company.
- If your belongings were displaced and you found them, take photos of where they were found. This will help establish the extent of the damages and the impact on your property.
- Do your best to protect your property and belongings from further damage. This may include covering holes in the roof or walls to prevent additional water damage, or moving items to a safer location.
- Remember that if your property has been damaged by contaminated water (such as floodwater or wind driven water), everything may have been touched by the water and may be contaminated. This type of water damage is known as "black water," and it can carry bacteria, viruses, pesticides,
Flood / Storm Surge
(General info to point you in the right direction)
It is important to understand the difference between flood and wind damage when filing insurance claims, as different policies may cover different types of damage. Flood insurance typically covers damage caused by the rising of water from an external source, such as a river or the ocean. Wind insurance, on the other hand, covers damage caused by high winds, such as damage to a roof or windows.
It is important to carefully document the damage caused by a flood or other natural disaster. This may include taking photographs of the damage, measuring the height of the water at its highest level, and creating an inventory list of all damaged items. This information can be used to help you recover as much of your losses as possible through insurance claims.
It is also important to follow the proper cleanup and repair procedures after a flood or other natural disaster to ensure the safety of your property and those who live or work there. This may include disinfecting surfaces, properly disposing of contaminated items, and repairing any damage to the property.
Example Photos of damage from flooding/storm surge and ideas of where to look and how to document
It is important to thoroughly inspect the exterior of your property after a windstorm to identify any damage that may have occurred. Some common areas to check for wind damage include:
Are they helpful and can they benefit me?
Hiring a public adjuster can be a helpful resource for policyholders who have suffered wind or flood damage to their home or business. Public adjusters are licensed professionals who specialize in helping policyholders navigate the insurance claims process and secure a fair settlement from their insurance company.
Some of the benefits of hiring a public adjuster include:
Familiarization with your insurance policy: Public adjusters are trained to understand the terms of your policy and can help ensure that your claim is handled in accordance with the terms of your coverage. Submission of necessary documents: Public adjusters can help gather the necessary documentation to support your claim, including estimates, receipts, and other required materials.
While hiring a public adjuster is not always necessary, it can be a useful resource for policyholders who want to ensure that they receive the full amount they are entitled to under their insurance policy.
Example of how a Public Adjuster helps.
The insurance company denied their policyholder's claim for damage caused by Hurricane Irma.
Damage Defenders helped them negotiate the claim from $0 to $38,500. Knowing how to navigate the claims process is a big benefit of hiring a public adjuster.
Is hiring one beneficial?
When working with contractors after suffering damages to your home or business, it is important to be aware of the concept of an assignment of benefits (AOB). An AOB is a legal agreement in which you assign your rights to receive payment from your insurance company to the contractor. This means that the contractor will be paid directly by the insurance company, rather than by you.
There are both benefits and potential downsides to signing an AOB. On the positive side, some contractors may be willing to fund the rebuilding project upfront and begin work immediately, which can be helpful if you are anxious to start the rebuilding process. However, it is important to be aware that the contractor may be making a higher percentage of the settlement than they would if you were paying them directly. This can potentially take money out of your pocket that you might otherwise have available to make other repairs or improvements to your property.
It is also important to note that contractors are not allowed by law to handle or negotiate your insurance claim. They can submit an estimate of repairs and discuss it with the insurance adjuster, but they are not permitted to act as a representative on your behalf or advocate for you during the claims process. If you are considering hiring a contractor, it is a good idea to research their reputation and ask for references to ensure that you are working with a reputable and reliable professional.
This home had flood damage. The picture shows the property after a clean out and flood cut was preformed. Drying equipment was used to dry out what couldn't be removed.