If your home or business has been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sally, 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.
There are active Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declarations involving Hurricane Sally for the states of Alabama and Florida, which means that SBA and FEMA resources will be available for the counties in the Disaster Declarations. United Policyholders encourages all impacted households to click here and register to get information and aid. Remember to register with FEMA, disaster survivors can apply for federal aid even if insured. Disaster assistance may be able to fill insurance gaps or provide help if you've been waiting more than 30 days on a homeowner's claim.
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.
- Take photos of the damage before any clean-up or repairs are done and completely document and value all damages and costs to repair or replace your property.
- 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.
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. 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, unless extended by FEMA.
If your home is damaged or destroyed, our guidance on insurance, clean up and professional claim, construction and legal services will help you get started on the road to recovery and make good decisions or repairing or rebuilding or replacing your home. United Policyholders is non-profit and has almost 30 years of experience in communities hit by catastrophic losses from disaster. We're rooting for you and here to help. No strings attached.
Steps on the Road to Recovery
STEP 1: Taking it in and getting started
- Before and After a Flood
- Top Ten Insurance Claim Tips
- Flood Recovery and Insurance - Getting Started
- Sample Letter Requesting Copy of Your Insurance Policy
- Simplified Guide to Your Homeowners Policy
STEP 2: Arranging temporary housing
- Additional Living Expenses (ALE)/Loss of Use: What expenses can you claim on your homeowner's policy?
- Sample Letter Requesting Information About Insurance Benefits for Temporary Living Expenses ("ALE" or "Loss of Use")
STEP 3: Getting organized and up to speed
- Flood Insurance Claim Basics
- Mold Contamination Insurance Coverage 101: The Basics
- After a Hurricane - Property Damage FAQs
- Frequently Asked Questions About Homeowners Insurance Claims in Alabama
- Stay in touch with others insured with your same company
- Speak UP: Tips for Communicating with your Insurance Company
- Collecting insurance benefits for a hurricane damaged car
STEP 4: Getting debris removed
STEP 5: Being pro-active in documenting and valuing your losses
- Insurance Recovery Tips for the Dwelling Part of Your Claim
- The Scoop on "Scope of Loss"
- Tips for Reviewing Adjusters' and Contractors' Estimates
- Xactimate Demystified
- Survivors Speak: Estimating Your Loss
- Samples of Damage and Proof of Loss Documentation
- Mobile / Manufactured Home Insurance Claim Tips
STEP 6: Creating your home inventory and navigating your contents claim
- Home Inventory and Contents Claim Tips
- Sample Letter Requesting Contents Itemization Waiver
- Sample Letter Asking for a Personal Property Claim Settlement
- Sample Inventory/Personal Property Claim Worksheets (Excel doc)
- Depreciation Basics
STEP 7: Making financial decisions
- Underinsurance 101
- Survivors Speak: Coping With Underinsurance
- Buy or rebuild?
- Tax Tips for Disaster Survivors
- Hurricane Tax Filings
- Updating your home insurance after a loss
STEP 8: Choosing a contractor
- Rebuilding 101: A Guide to the Reconstruction Process
- Questions to Ask a Repair/Rebuild Contractor
- What's up with Overhead and Profit?
STEP 9: Working with your mortgage company
STEP 10: Getting help if/when you need it
- Resolving Flood Insurance Disputes
- Resolving Claim Disputes
- Hiring Professional Help
- Filing a complaint with your Department of Insurance
- Florida State Specific Help
- Louisiana State Specific Help
- Alabama State Specific Help
- Mississippi State Specific Help
Taking care of yourself along the way
UP offers the following tools to aid insurance consumers in their recovery. Items indicated with an asterick (*) are available only if funding is available to cover costs. Email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will notify you if we secure funding in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi.
- The Disaster Recovery Handbook/Household Inventory Guide*: Since 2006 "The Disaster Recovery Handbook and Household Inventory Guide" has been a trusted book that's led thousands of people through the process of overcoming obstacles to repairing and rebuilding after a major loss. The book is written in plain language by disaster survivors for disaster survivors with tips and expert advice from legal, insurance and personal finance professionals(where funding is available to cover costs).
- Home Inventory Worksheets: Most disaster survivors must prepare an itemized and detailed inventory list of every single item they lost in order to recover insurance monies and/or claim tax losses. Creating this inventory is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks survivors must complete on the road to recovery. To ease this burden, download UP's home inventory worksheets.
- Private disaster survivor groups: United Policyholders offers private virtual groups for property owners to share information and educate and support each other throughout a long and challenging process. United Policyholders serves as an ongoing resource to help the groups identify common problems and craft solutions together with public and elected officials and insurance industry representatives.