If your home or business was damaged or destroyed in the Iowa Derecho, United Policyholders' Roadmap to Recovery® program and 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. The Iowa derecho, with its winds of 110-140 mph, was considered the equivalent of a Category 3 or 4 hurricane by the National Weather Service. Wind damage will be covered under your homeowner's policy.
In the months ahead, you will have to deal with lots of paperwork and make important financial decisions. The word most commonly used to describe people's mind set after a natural disaster is "overwhelmed." While insurance payments can't bring back your cherished momentos, they are critically important to a successful recovery.
At this time, take care of your family's immediate needs first. UP recommends focusing on photographing and documenting damaged and destroyed property, getting a complete current copy of your insurance policy, and finding temporary lodging that is comfortable and safe. If you are unable to return to your home, you may be able to access insurance funds through your "Additional Living Expense" Coverage.
Understanding some basics about the insurance claim process from the start will help you navigate:
- Insurance is a vehicle to get you back where you were before your losses, but it won't drive itself. You have to drive it or get help if you can't.
UP offers tips, information, sample letters and tools
UP is a charity...a non-profit with expertise on insurance and helping consumers. We do not sell insurance, give legal advice or represent individuals in claim matters. United Policyholders 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.
to help each person recover the full amount they're entitled to and avoid and solve problems if they come up. We have your back when insurance matters.
You paid for an insurance safety net and we are here to help you get what you paid for.
Steps on the Road to Recovery
STEP 1: Taking it in and getting started
- Top Ten Insurance Claim Tips
- 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")
- Stay informed with Alert Iowa
STEP 3: Getting organized
- After a Hurricane - Property Damage FAQs
- Stay in touch with others insured with your same company
- Speak UP: Tips for Communicating with your Insurance Company
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 Claim Disputes
- Filing a complaint with your Department of Insurance
- Iowa State Specific Help
- Iowa Insurance Division
- Hiring Professional Help
Taking care of yourself along the way