As the painful process of recovery begins for those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by tornadoes, storms, or flooding in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, or Texas the focus will be on photographing and removing debris, inventorying losses, negotiating insurance payments and grieving.
In the months ahead, impacted residents will have to plow through 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 cherished mementos, they are critically important on the Road to Recovery.
UP offers tips, information, sample letters and tools to help each person recover the full amount they're entitled to and avoid and solve problems during the insurance claim adjustment process. Our resources draw on the personal and professional expertise of our volunteers and staff, many of whom lost homes in past disasters. UP does not sell insurance, give legal advice or represent individuals in claim matters. Rest assured, our information and resources are designed to help you, the consumer...no catch, no hidden agenda.
This site will be updated regularly.
SPECIAL NOTE: The America Bar Association's Young Lawyer's Division Disaster Legal Services Program is providing free legal help to victims of Missouri flooding in partnership with FEMA. United Policyholders is an official resource for the DLS Program. Call 1-800-829-4128 for help.
First steps to getting oriented and organized:
Here are some items to get you started putting one foot in front of the other on the road to recovery:
- Top Ten Insurance Claim Tips
- Sample Letter Requesting Copy of Policy
- Simplified Guide to Your Homeowners Guide
- 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")
- General Claim Tips
- Speak UP: Tips for Communicating with your Insurance Company
- Claim Guidance Library: Homeowner's/Wind
- Claim Guidance Library: Flood/water damage
Repairs and Rebuilding (Your Home)
- Debris Removal
- Insurance Recovery Tips for the Dwelling Part of Your Claim
- The Scoop on "Scope of Loss"
- Tips for Reviewing Adjusters' and Contractors' Estimates
- Rebuilding 101: A Guide to the Reconstruction Process
- Xactimate Demystified
- Questions to Ask a Repair/Rebuild Contractor
- What's up with Overhead and Profit?
- Samples of Damage and Proof of Loss Documentation
Contents/Personal Property (Your Stuff)
- 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
- State Specific Help
- Resolving Claim Disputes
- Hiring Professional Help
- Sample Letter requesting copy of claim-related documents
- Sample letter requesting information about claim denial
- Alabama Department of Insurance
- Arkansas Insurance Department
- Georgia Office of Safety and Fire Commissioner
- Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
- Mississippi Insurance Department
- Missouri Department of Insurance
- Oklahoma Department of Insurance
- Texas Department of Insurance
- Louisiana Department of Insurance
- Wisconsin Department of Insurance
- FEMA Disaster Declarations
- ABA Young Lawyers Division: Disaster Legal Services Program
- National Disaster Legal Aid
Expert Answers to Your Questions: The ”Ask an Expert” tool is an easy and safe way to ask direct questions to attorneys, claims professionals and previous disaster survivors who serve as UP volunteers and get the answers you need. The expert doesn’t see your contact info, but you can contact them if you want to follow up on their answer. To use the forum, please visit www.uphelp.org/Ask-an-Expert.
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.
- Inventory/Personal Property Claim Worksheets (Excel doc) - United Policyholders Home Inventory Worksheets for you to complete and save on your computer or recovery flash drive
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