From floods to tornadoes, hurricanes to fires, and earthquakes to severe storms, natural disasters happen when you least expect them. They often cause severe property damage, leaving you to pick up the pieces. Depending on the situation, your home may need extensive repairs or even rebuilding.
In the wake of a natural disaster, one of the first questions property owners ask themselves is this: “Will my insurance policy be enough to cover the costs? How much will I have to pay out of pocket?”
Not every homeowner knows all the details of their insurance policy. Filing a claim may seem overwhelming on top of all the other things you have to deal with, like salvaging precious possessions or putting a temporary roof over your head.
During this stressful time, an insurance adjuster can help you. Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia has claims adjusters who have helped many clients work with their insurance companies and settle for a fair claim. Let us do the same for you.
Types of Natural Disasters Homeowners Insurance Covers
In many cases, homeowners’ insurance covers damage caused by natural disasters, such as:
- Freeze damage
- Fire damage
- Lightning strikes
- Wind and hail
Keep in mind that insurance companies get more specific when deciding whether to cover you and for how much. To know for sure what your insurance policy covers, study its terms carefully. Does freeze damage include a burst pipe? What if your appliances suffered damage because of a power surge accompanying a lightning strike?
You should also look at your maximum amount of coverage. This limit will vary between policies, and there is no guarantee it will be enough to cover the necessary expenses.
What Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover
Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover the following types of natural disasters:
- Earthquake damage
- Flood damage
Many homeowners do not know that they have to buy two separate policies to cover earthquake and flood damage.
The cause of damage affects whether your insurance company will cover the associated costs. For example, if a tree falls in your yard due to a lightning strike, your insurance company will usually pay the removal cost. However, if the tree falls because of an earthquake, the insurance company would refuse to pay because your policy does not cover earthquake damage.
You should also pay attention to coverage limitations. For example, let’s say you need to replace your roof following a severe storm. Because you had an old roof, your insurance policy only offers you a small amount in compensation that doesn’t cover the full cost of a new roof.
What to Do After a Natural Disaster
After a natural disaster, your priority should be safety and wellbeing. If your property is not habitable, move yourself and your family to a safe location. After that, you should do the following:
- Assess the damage to your property and get an initial estimate of repair or replacement costs
- Get in touch with your insurance agent as soon as you can. Reporting the damage right away will help you during the claims process.
- Record all your expenses related to the natural disaster. Those costs may include renting temporary lodging, emergency equipment you have had to buy for immediate relief, and urgent repairs to prevent further damage.
How to Work With Your Insurance Company
To have the best chance of receiving a fair claim from your insurance company, make sure you take the following steps:
- Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the natural disaster.
- Follow all the insurance company guidelines, provide all necessary documentation, and answer any relevant questions fully and accurately.
- Obtain a detailed estimate of the amount you would need to repair the damage to your home.
Often, homeowners will not receive their full claim amount from their insurance company. You may see a discrepancy in damage assessment where the insurance company asserts that the damage repair cost is not as high as you say it is.
Unfortunately, some insurance providers look for loopholes that would enable them to reduce or deny insurance claims. An insurance adjuster like ours can help you get the payout you deserve after a natural disaster.
Can Your Insurance Company Deny Your Claim?
If you think that your insurance company is attempting to deny or minimize your claim, hire an independent adjuster. Public insurance adjusters will negotiate with your insurance company and increase your chances of a full payout.
At Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia, we help clients in and around Atlanta, GA, deal with their insurance providers and protect their rights. We offer 100% customer satisfaction, and we only receive payment once we reach a satisfactory settlement with the insurance provider on your behalf. Call us today at (404) 220-9366 for a free assessment and no-obligation consultation.
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Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia
1100 Peachtree St NE, Ste 200a
Atlanta, GA 30309