It’s officially Summer, and as of June 1st, Hurricane season is back again. This year, The NOAA is predicting a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher.
With back to back hurricanes over the last two years, Floridians are becoming more and more adequately prepared before a storm. But what about after the storm has passed? Many homeowners didn’t consider some of the challenges they would face with their insurance company. It’s been more than two years since Hurricane Irma and many South Dade homeowners and businesses are still going through the insurance claim process. They didn’t expect the insurance company to take this long to pay their claim and they also weren’t prepared for how little their insurance company paid.
“Many homeowners who filed a claim for Hurricane Irma weren’t paid what they were owed. Now they can’t fix their property. Insurance companies didn’t have enough manpower, so they brought in adjusters from out of State who aren’t familiar with South Florida building codes or material costs. The result is many homes in the South Dade community with leaky roofs and unrepaired damages” says Andrew Barnard, CEO of OMNI Claims Consultants, a local Public Adjusting firm that has handled hundreds of insurance claims in or near Homestead. He suggests three critical tips for homeowners and businesses during this upcoming hurricane season:
Prevent further water damage. Your insurance claim could be denied if you don’t act quickly.
- If you have roof leaks, put a tarp on your roof or make a temporary repair.
- Turn you’re A/C on to dehumidify your home and prevent mold.
- Keep the area dry. Contact a restoration company if there’s a lot of water damage.
Document the damages. Insurance claims are easier and faster if you document your damages and keep organized.
- Photograph your property before & after a storm. - Create a home inventory and document your personal property.
- If you have a business, it’s worth considering business interruption insurance.
Review your insurance policy with an expert. Get a 2nd opinion.
- Look out for endorsements that change the policy. They can add, remove or limit coverages in the policy.
- Know your deductible. There is usually a separate, higher deductible for hurricanes.
- Your insurance company will hire their own adjuster. You may want to hire your own also.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that Florida Law only gives you three years to file a new hurricane claim or re-open an old hurricane claim. That means you have until September 10th, 2020 to reopen your old Hurricane Irma claim or file a new claim for Hurricane Irma. Time is ticking. Don’t come out of pocket for repairs because your insurance company didn’t cover the damage or pay enough.
We are offering a free inspection and policy review service for all homeowners and businesses in the Homestead, Florida City and Redland areas. Reach out to one of our adjusters today.
Call us at 305-969-6240 or visit us at Omnihelps.com.
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