by United Policyholders

If your home or business was damaged by Tropical Storm/Hurricane Michael, United Policyholders' Roadmap to Recovery® program is here to help.  We offer free, reliable guidance on valuing and documenting your loss, understanding insurance rules, settling your insurance claims fairly and finding qualified professional, charitable and government help. 

When water damages your home or business, it is extra challenging to collect insurance funds to cover your losses.  Home and business insurance policies contain limits and exclusions for water, mold and flood damage and higher deductibles for hurricane-related losses.  Very few people carry flood insurance.  Our non profit organization connects insurance consumers with information and links that explain confusing words, rules and processes and empower individuals to be their own best advocate in getting the full benefit of paid-for insurance.

If you were in a mandatory evacuation zone, you may be able to access insurance funds through your home insurance policy's "Additional Living Expense" coverage. If you have insurance that covers flood damage, it probably does not provide this category of coverage.  

Once you are able to return to your property, focus on taking photos, inventorying and valuing all damage and costs to repair or replace your property and preventing further damage. Flood damage is messy, smelly and can be hazardous to your health. Focus on these tasks regardless of your insurance situation.  If you're having trouble getting an adjuster out to inspect, work on finding reputable help for boarding up and drying out. Work on getting complete, current copies of all your insurance policies as soon as possible, and do your best to read them.

Every type of insurance policy contains a deadline for submitting your proof of your loss and claim.  There are basic differences between home, business and flood insurance policy rules.  If you have flood insurance, chances are it's through a hybrid insurance program run by the federal government and private insurance companies - the National Flood Insurance program. NFIP policies require a complete proof of loss to be submitted within 60 days of the storm unless there's been a special deadline extension.  The rules are strict.  Standard home, rental and business insurance policies have varying deadlines and rules.

You'll find lots of information in our library, tips, videos and tools. We're rooting for your recovery and are here to help.

Key Tips

  • Take photos of the damage before any clean-up or repairs are done.
  • 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. (FL, GA)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.

Additional Self-Help Resources Include: 

State Specific Resources

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Michael Claim Help Library

The Tropical Storm/Hurricane Florence Claim Help Library is for property and business owners, policyholder advocates, elected officials and the media. The Library contains tips, articles, bulletins, forms, reports, statistics, links and a wealth of information. This library section will be updated regularly. 

 

About The Blogger

United Policyholders

United Policyholders is a non-profit organization that serves as a voice and an information resource for insurance consumers in all 50 States.