October 21, 2017

Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

On August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene caused hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hurricane damage in a 24 hour period from the Carolinas to New England.

American Property Loss Service’s Public Adjusters are available to do a complete review of your hurricane damage insurance claim. From initial on-site hurricane property damage estimates to reviewing your insurance company adjuster estimates for completeness, American Property Loss Service’s Public Adjusters are experienced and ready to get your life  back in order after home hurricane damage.

House pushed off foundation by hurricane

House pushed off foundation by hurricane - Major property damage

A hurricane is a powerful tropical stormthat measures several hundred miles in diameter. Hurricanes need warm tropical oceans, moisture and light winds above them. If the right conditions last long enough, a hurricane can produce violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains and floods. Deadly as well as destructive, hurricanes pose a threat to life and property from wind, rain or flood.

Most property insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hurricanes, except for flood loss associated with the hurricane.However, some policies only provide limited coverage for hurricanes, or require that a higher deductible be purchased specifically for the hurricane peril. Most states with risk of loss from hurricanes have government mandated insurance plans that provide hurricane coverage to property owners who are unable to obtain insurance through the voluntary market.

Another peril coverage is windstorm to include tornado, hurricane, tropical storm and even wind storm damage associated with thunderstorms. Properties in a high wind zone area often became uninsurable which forces many homeowners to seek windstorm coverage with the quasi-governmental carrier.

Typically a property insurance policy covers direct physical damage from windstorm. If direct physical damage is obvious, such as entire roofs/walls or portions of roofs/walls blown away, then a coverage determination becomes easy. Then the major concern of the property owner becomes, “What is the full cost of repair or replacement to make me whole again?”  Business owners will suffer down time creating the need to document business interruption loss. Homeowners will want to know, where they will live while their home is being repaired. Not only is the building loss a concern, but business inventory losses, and personal property damage frequently become a major portion of the windstorm damage insurance claim.

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

If there is water damage resulting from a windstorm event, you need to review your policy’s language.  Typically, if there is a break in the building which lets in water, then you have coverage. Water damage to contents would also typically be included as part of the loss. Wind driven rain can also be very problematic in a hurricane as many insurance companies will not pay unless there is a breach or opening in a structure.

Property insurance policies that do cover windstorm normally exclude the peril of flood, and flood policies cover flood but not the peril of windstorm. So what happens when a hurricane damages properties, especially along the coastlines? Will the windstorm carriers and the flood carriers point fingers at each other, and leave you, the policyholder, caught in the middle. If you have a loss from wind and flood you need to be prepared to prove which caused what part of your damage. The public adjusters frequently assist policyholders in sorting out what is wind and what is flood.

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

Hurricane Irene Damaged Mobile Home in Arapahoe NC

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