How To File a Wind Damage Claim

Follow these steps to file a claim for coverage for wind damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Contact your insurance provider:

  •      Confirm what your policy covers and does not cover
  •      Ask about deadlines for filing a claim
  •      Determine the amount of your deductible before insurance pays the rest
  •      Get an estimate for how long it will take to assess your claim
  •      Know if you should expect an adjuster from their company or an independent adjuster

Knowing these things will help you prepare for the next step. Most policies require a claim to be filed within 60 days of the damage occurring, but the deadline can be extended in some circumstances. Because claims are filed in order in which they are received, it may take the insurance company some time to get back to you. Unfortunately, fraudulent activity is common in post-disaster areas. You should be aware that criminals may be trying to take advantage of your situation. Don’t be afraid to ask for confirmation from anyone claiming to be a representative of an insurance company.

Cleaning up your property:

  •      First and foremost, be safe
  •      Document all damage with videos, photos, and written notes
  •      You may need to turn the electricity and gas off temporarily
  •      Open doors and windows to help water and moisture escape
  •      Use a diluted bleach solution to sanitize areas affected by standing water
  •      Remove items that absorbed any water (furniture, mattresses, bedding, stuffed animals, etc.)
  •      Make temporary repairs to prevent your property from any more damage

Most homeowners want their house to be back to normal as quickly as possible. Before you start removing anything from your property, document all the damage you find. You will need to provide some proof for your losses when you make your insurance claim, and the more you can share, the better your chances are of regaining lost property. Do not throw anything away until an adjuster has visited your property. Floodwaters can contain sewage, chemicals, and other things dangerous to human life. Cleaning your house with a bleach solution helps prevent buildup of mold and mildew, and also destroys bacteria that may not be safe. If you decide to make temporary repairs, save your receipts. If you pay a contractor for temporary repairs, it will be deducted from your insurance coverage, and leave less money for you to make permanent repairs.

Filing Your Claim:

  •      Keep all of your receipts from living expenses if you relocate
  •      Create a list of all the property that was damaged and its value
  •      Do not permanently dispose of any belongings until an insurance adjuster approves
  •      Get a second opinion from a local contractor that you trust
  •      Keep copies of all the information you share with the insurance company

Living expenses are covered under wind damage claims if you and your family relocated after the storm. When the adjuster visits, they will help you file a Proof of Loss. The documentation you provide can greatly reduce the time it takes for the insurance company to assess your claim and get things back to normal. If you feel that your insurance provider is not completely adhering to your policy, get legal help immediately before it is too late.

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