If you are one of the many Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian, you may be dealing with property damage from storms and flooding. Fortunately, we can help you learn how to file an insurance claim.
Filing a property damage claim after Hurricane Ian can be stressful, and you don't want to worry about confusing insurance details or loopholes. But don’t worry, we'll provide all the information you need to restore your property with an insurance claim quickly and easily.
Assess the Damages and Costs
The first step in filing an insurance claim is to assess the damages to your home and other property. Before you call your insurance company or fill out any paperwork, take photos of the damage and document any missing or destroyed items.
It may be helpful to create an inventory of expensive or significant items that have suffered destruction. Keeping a list of damages can help streamline the insurance claim process.
If the damage from Hurricane Ian is extensive, you may need to pay for accommodation elsewhere. We recommend keeping your receipts for hotels, food, and other living expenses that resulted from Hurricane Ian, as you can include these costs in your insurance claim.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Once you have clear documentation of the damage from Hurricane Ian, reach out to your Florida insurance provider to start your claim. If you are unsure how to contact or locate your insurance company, call the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) at 877-336-2627.
Note that your company is likely experiencing a surge of calls. It may take a few days before you can speak with a representative, so it is crucial to call as early as possible.
When you speak to your insurance provider, they will schedule an insurance inspector to assess your damages in person or by video call. You can ask the representative questions about expected payment and details of what your policy covers. Shortly after the inspection, your provider will give you an estimate based on the observed property destruction.
Complete Your Insurance Claim
Your company may ask you to complete documents detailing your information and damages incurred from Hurricane Ian. These documents include general information forms, detailed descriptions of property destruction, and claims for different types of damages, including flood and wind damage.
Call your insurance company to complete a final confirmation of your claim. You may want to verify that your documents are processed and that the inspector reported the damages correctly.
The company may take a few weeks to review your claim, but they should reach out to you as soon as possible with a decision. Make sure they send you a written letter stating if they accepted or rejected your insurance claim.
Your insurance provider will send you payment to cover your damages if they accept your claim. Read on to discover what to do if your company has underpaid or rejected your claim.
Consider Other Options if Your Claim Is Denied or Underpaid
What should you do if your insurance provider rejects your claim? You still have several options to reimburse costs incurred from Hurricane Ian in Florida.
You can file an appeal with the Federal Emergency Management Agency within 60 days of a rejected claim. They can mediate negotiations between you and your provider to reach a better solution. FEMA also recently approved over $400 million for Hurricane Ian support in Florida, so they may be able to help you cover costs that your insurance cannot.
If you feel your provider has underpaid you, speak to your insurance company and try to resolve the issue. Underpaid claims are often due to simple mistakes, so review the documents with your company to ensure that isn't the case. Or, provide your company with additional photos and damage documentation to receive more coverage.
Enduring a natural disaster like Hurricane Ian can be a devastating experience. Filing a claim as soon as possible with these quick and straightforward steps can help your recovery process run smoothly.