Protect your roof and your home before, during and after a hurricane
Planning and preparing for a hurricane can make all the difference in safety and resiliency for you and your family.
Does My Homeowner’s policy cover hurricane damage?
While your insurance policy may cover hurricane damage, we recommend you call your insurance agent or company to understand your coverage. More than likely you have a hurricane or wind deductible. That deductible can be a dollar amount, or a percentage of the cost of damage caused by a hurricane. What is typically covered because of a hurricane (after you meet your deductible) is wind damage or wind-driven rain during a hurricane. Make sure to know if you have flood insurance or if you are in a flood zone. Flood insurance is separate and not automatic.
One important note is that once a hurricane is officially declared insurance companies may issue a moratorium on insurance. This means that an insurance company can refuse to write new policies or update an existing policy until the hurricane passes.
How to prepare before the hurricane:
Create a family emergency plan. Consider how a disaster such as a hurricane hitting your home, neighborhood or city can impact you. Stay Informed: Receiving warnings and alerts is critical for hurricane readiness. Weather radios and apps will help you stay updated when emergency notifications arise. Sign up for emergency and weather notifications your local weather experts may have available.
Plan for an evacuation: If threats from Hurricanes are significant, local authorities may issue evacuation notices. Here are some helpful pointers:
- Learn and understand the evacuation routes assigned to your local area.
- Find the Local emergency shelters of your community.
- Plan the evacuation for your entire household.
- Always keep a full tank of gas.
- Pack a bag.
- Pick an out of State contact to checking in case family gets separated.
Don’t forget to plan for your pets, their food and medication needs!
Emergency Supplies: Gather all necessary supplies needed to shelter in place in case the threat of a hurricane is eminent. Make sure to have a cellphone and power banks fully charged in the event power is interrupted. Prescription medications should also be refilled and ready in case of emergency. All important documents should be safeguarded in a waterproof container to keep the dry and easily accessible. Tools such as flashlights, matches, whistle, weather radios, and multipurpose tools can make the difference when weathering the hurricane. Food supplies and first aid kits are critical after the storms passes. Having 3-5 days of food will help keep safe indoors. It helps not having to venture out away from fallen power lines and down trees.
Protect your property: The best way to protect your property is by re-enforcing windows and doors. Locate a safe room inside your house and maintain calm. Any loose items outside your home should be brought inside and large items should be secured.
Make a video of your home prior the storm and document all valuables for insurance purposes. Have all your insurance policies available.
Trim trees and branches and
clean gutters and any direct downspouts that lead water away from your house
How should I prepare if hit by a hurricane?
Here are some important things to remember in the immediate aftermath:
- · Note the date and exact time of the hurricane hitting your area, including when you believe damage to your property occurred.
- · Take photos of your yard, home, and property after the storm, making sure to focus on areas of damage. More is better.
- · Look for obvious signs of damage on your roof, like missing or torn shingles, or granule loss on your yard, driveway or around your home.
- · Take pictures of your outside air conditioning unit, as hurricane can wreak havoc on air conditioners (they can dent and block cooling fins, blocking the air flow).
- · Keep in mind, not all damage will be completely obvious to an untrained eye, seek the help of a local, reputable and qualified roofing company.
Remember: If you do not have photos to prove it, it could weaken your claim.
CONTACT A LOCAL, REPUTABLE ROOFING CONTRACTOR
If you discover roof damage from a hurricane, your next step should be to contact a local, qualified roofing company for help with an inspection, protect your home from further damage by tarping or covering the affected areas of your roof, in addition to contacting your insurance company to file a hurricane or wind damage claim. A reputable roofing company can expertly assess and inspect the hurricane damage to your home. With Revildor this assessment is free.
HOMEOWNER BEWARE: Be careful what you sign when companies or individuals come knocking at your door after a hurricane. Do your due diligence before giving out your money or signing any documents!
When looking for a roofing contractor, be sure to consider the following:
- · Cost – A roof inspection to check for hurricane or storm damage should be free. Beware of signing anything that holds you paying for this service or obligating you in any way.
- · Don’t sign away your rights – ask if the roofing company requires you to sign an “Assignment of Benefits,” which legally transfers your rights to settle a claim to a third party. Once you sign away your rights, you have lost them.
- · Local – Many outside roofing companies move into an area following a hurricane. Be sure to work with local companies with local references.
- · No Pressure – If you are feeling pressured to sign something, or the roofing company becomes impatient with your questions about the fine print, remember you are not obligated to sign anything. Also, be wary of contractors who solicit door-to-door. There is a difference between door-hanger advertising and soliciting.
- · Reputation – Ask the roofing company for their license number and investigate any negative comments they may have with the BBB or other entities including if the license is active with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Look at their website and their social media.
- · Responsiveness – A roofing company that is not responsive and personal from the start is unlikely to be during the process; this can lead to delays and costly miscommunications. Please make sure the roofing company is managing your expectations from the beginning.
HOW INSURANCE COMPANIES WORK
According to the laws of the state, the insurance company has 15 days to respond to reports of damage, though typically they respond sooner. However, with a severe storm, the insurance company can request an additional 15 days to respond, due to the high volume of claims being filed. Insurance company response varies from company to company.
Once you have filed your report, contact your insurance company again if you haven’t heard from them within a week, but do not expect immediate service when damage in the surrounding area is as extensive as the damage to your property.
If you are facing a complete roof replacement due to the severity of the damage, you need to understand how the policy will pay the claim. If you have Replacement Cost (RC) coverage on your house, the insurance company should pay you the price to replace the roof minus whatever deductible you have chosen without depreciation. If you opt for actual cash value (ACV) insurance policy, there could be depreciation involved.
For example, if your roof is ten years old the insurance company could depreciate the replacement cost by as much as fifty percent. So, you would then subtract that fifty percent plus the deductible, which may not leave you enough coverage to completely replace the roof. To avoid a situation like this you need to have a discussion with your agent about what level of coverage is right for you, based on the age of your home, the age of any upgrades or replacements on your home and other factors that will be considered when a claim is filed. It is important you understand your policy coverage and your deductible. Remember there can be variations in the deductible if it’s a hurricane deductible or a windstorm deductible.
Having a complete and thorough roof inspection from a local, reputable roofing company will help you in this process, especially when the claims adjuster comes to inspect your roof.
Questions give Revildor a call: 321-332-3392.
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