After a Texas hurricane, you may have extensive damage to your home and other property. If this is the case, it’s important to know how to navigate hurricane insurance claims.
What to know about hurricane insurance claims
- Separate flood insurance – Flooding isn’t covered by home insurance. Thus, you’ll need to sign up for a separate flood insurance policy or go through the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Auto insurance – Comprehensive auto insurance covers flooding. This insures your vehicle if it’s been damaged from a flood. Your provider may determine that your vehicle is a total loss and pay for the value minus the deductible.
- Higher deductibles – You might have to pay a higher deductible for add-ons to your standard policy to account for hurricane damage coverage.
- Fallen trees – If your tree falls onto your neighbor’s property, they can file a claim with their insurance company. This applies for just cleanup if the tree(s) doesn’t hit anything.
- Living expenses – Many policies will cover additional living expenses like food and rent. They could pay up to a year’s worth of these expenses if you’re still unable to live in your house. Be sure to keep any receipts.
- Keep an inventory – Make sure to keep inventory of your valuable possessions, including receipts and anything else that helps you get the maximum coverage for items that are damaged or completely lost.
- Additional assistance – You might qualify for other forms of assistance like medical and emergency housing. Talk to someone from your state’s emergency management agency or a FEMA disaster recovery center.
- Take quick action – Contact your insurance company and document your claim immediately. Take any preventative measures to keep further damage from happening. Keep all receipts for what you need to purchase for repairs.
- Review your policy – Break out your policy to look it over before you start your claim. There may be some surprises and you don’t want to overlook something for which you may be qualified to receive.
- Count on delays – The insurance claim process can be fairly slow. You can follow up if you don’t hear back within a few weeks, but it’s important to stay patient.
It’s stressful to figure out what to do right after a disaster strikes. Make sure that you’ve got a solid insurance policy and that you know what to expect from your claims process.