Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis says there six things to know when you start to rebuild after Hurricane Irma.
Tip 1: Locate all applicable insurance policies. This may include a homeowners’ policy, flood policy (flood coverage is not covered under a typical homeowners’ policy and is separate coverage) and an automobile policy (may cover damage to your car from flooding).
Tip 2: Document all damaged property and belongings. Take photos or shoot video footage before attempting any temporary repairs. When you file an insurance claim, you may be asked for visual documentation of damages. A photographic home inventory is a handy resource for this situation.
Tip 3: Contact your insurance company or insurance agent as soon as possible to report damages. Insurance policies require prompt reporting of claims, so it is important to act as soon as possible. If you need help finding your property insurance company’s website and contact information, visit www.myfloridacfo.com to access the Hurricane Irma resources website.
Tip 4: Cover damaged areas that may be exposed to the elements in order to prevent further damage. Your insurance company may reimburse the expense of these temporary repairs, so keep all receipts. Remove water-logged and otherwise damaged items from your house to prevent the spread of mold, but document them and do not dispose of any damaged property until your insurance company adjuster has had an opportunity to survey it.
Tip 5: Hire ONLY licensed contractors. Beware of vendors moving door-to-door. If their claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is and could be fraud. Report suspicious activity ASAP by calling 1-877-693-5236. Beware of people offering to help fill out claims for money – they likely want your personal information for bad reasons.
Tip 6: Don’t inadvertently sign away your rights. READ carefully to fully understand every document you’re asked to sign. Ask specifically who will be responsible for payment – you or the insurance company.