2017 was the most expensive hurricane season in U.S. history, causing nearly 300 billion dollars worth of damage — causing more devastation than even 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. 2017 turned household names Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate into labels of brutality and carnage. While hurricane season does not officially begin until June 1, 2018 marks the fourth consecutive year that storms formed before the official start, making 2018 no more promising than 2017 was. As we are currently tracking the sixth storm of the year, those on the Atlantic coast are preparing themselves for the long fall that lays ahead and the unknown of the waters around them.
In the event of a catastrophic hurricane — or even a light tropical storm — that renders damage to your home and property, filing claims for major damage can easily turn into a full-time job. If you have the right homeowners insurance that provides windstorm and flood coverage, you are starting off on the right foot. You simply need to file claims based on documented loss and then negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Those words may sound easy, but your insurance company will be handling as many claims as you have neighbors and offering the least amount that they can to help ensure they stay in business. And, once you receive this “fair” settlement, your rates and premiums will likely escalate to cover the insurance company’s loss.
This is where public adjusters come in. Public insurance adjusters are professional nonbiased third-party mediators who advocate for you to get what is actually deserved. You cannot recover from a category 5 hurricane when your insurance company has paid you for a springtime thunderstorm. Here are some indicators that you should consider hiring a public adjuster after a hurricane hits your home.
You have a large, complex claim.
If you are more inland than coastal and the hurricane sweeps over your home causing a few shingles to blow off, tree branches to land in your lawn, and your car’s windshield to shatter, your claims may be simple enough for you and your insurance agency to settle, fairly, without mediation. However, if your basement is now a swimming pool, a tree has created a sunroof, and your home’s siding has been blown into the neighbor’s yard, you are dealing with a major case that could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of repairs that you cannot complete yourself. If you have homeowners insurance that includes wind and flood damage, this is the perfect scenario to hire a public adjuster. Their job is to get you the most money that your policy allows to get your family home livable again.
Get back to work and your family.
These complex claims can take a lot of time to file and may also require follow-up documentation, inspections, and negotiations. These are things that most working family members do not have time for, but are necessary to get their lives back in order. A public adjuster can handle all the time-consuming paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations and are armed with all the knowledge and tools to get you what you deserve, not what the insurance company offers.
You have multiple policies or policyholders.
Many people in the Houston area held different policies when their homes were ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. Traditional homeowners insurance does not always cover flood or wind, as the insurance agencies are well aware that these areas are prone to flooding, so to keep premiums low, they don’t offer the coverage. However, there are other insurance options that cover wind and flood that many homeowners hold separately. In the event of a hurricane-induced flood, you can file claims with all of your insurance providers. While your homeowner’s policy may not cover flood, it will cover other damages. Additionally, you may have to file claims with your car insurance company. Navigating the differences in policies and dealing with several different agencies can be complicated and overwhelming. A public insurance adjuster can help calm the storm and make sense of the differing policies and claims.
The calm before the storm.
Hurricane season 2018 has been relatively quiet so far, but the Atlantic is waking up, it is time to get prepared. Before a catastrophic event, make sure that you have updated your insurance policies and that you have found a public adjuster that you can count on. For a Texas public adjuster, contact us at Grasso Public Adjusters today!