How Public Adjusters Help with Hurricane Insurance Claims in 2024

It’s officially hurricane season. Over the next few months, millions of homeowners across the south and southeastern United States have an increased risk of making a hurricane damage insurance claim.

House Damage From Hurricane

Many homeowners in Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, and other hurricane-prone regions turn to public adjusters for help with hurricane claims.

Public adjusters represent your best interests in an insurance claim, negotiating with the insurer on your behalf to achieve an optimal outcome.

Today, we’re highlighting some of the most important ways in which public adjusters help with insurance claims in 2024.

How Insurance Covers Hurricane Damage

To understand how public adjusters help with hurricane claims, it helps to understand how insurance covers hurricane damage.

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers direct physical damage from wind – including hurricane-force winds.

A standard homeowners insurance policy also covers water damage, including water damage that occurs from rain during a hurricane, water that enters your damaged house during a hurricane, and similar types of damage.

Hurricane Damage Not Covered by Insurance

Insurance policies don’t automatically cover all types of hurricane damage.

Damages not covered by a typical hurricane insurance policy include:

  • Flooding and flood-related damage (say, caused by rising floodwaters after a hurricane passes through a region)
  • Wind-driven rain damage (i.e. when water enters your home after a hurricane but not through a breach in the structure)
  • Pre-existing damage or damage related to wear-and-tear

How Public Adjusters Help with Hurricane Claims

Understandably, hurricane insurance claims can get messy.

How do you determine which damage was pre-existing? How do you separate flood damage from rain damage? Who pays when a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property?

In many of these situations, it’s in your best interest to hire a public adjuster.

Public adjusters can help with an insurance claim in multiple ways, including:

  • Analyzing your policy and applying coverage to your claim.
  • Checking your property for damage, including hidden damage, to ensure you receive fair value for your claim.
  • Overseeing repairs to ensure your property is restored to pre-loss condition.
  • Organizing documentation to ensure you receive compensation for additional living expenses, the full value of your property and possessions, and other items commonly missed by homeowners.
  • Proposing a fair resolution to your insurer with your best interests in mind.
  • Negotiating with the insurer on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum possible amount of compensation based on the terms of your insurance policy.

Many homeowners hire a public adjuster for insurance claim disputes totaling over $10,000. Some hire public adjusters from the start of a claim – Many others hire a public adjuster as soon as there’s a dispute.

Overall, a good public adjuster can speed up your claim, increase compensation from your insurer, and make the claim smoother, easier, and more stress-free.

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How a Typical Hurricane Insurance Claim Works

A hurricane insurance claim works in a similar way to a storm damage insurance claim.

The typical hurricane insurance claim process includes:

Step 1) Contact your insurer to initiate the claim. Your insurer assigns a claims number and sends an adjuster to your property when safe to do so. For large scale natural disasters, insurers may set up a claims center at a location near you to handle the influx of claims.

Step 2) Organize documentation. Before cleaning up, take photos and videos of the damages. Take note of any possession you may have lost and their approximate value. Take steps to secure your property against further damage.

Step 3) Review your homeowners insurance policy. Don’t be surprised by exclusion on your policy. Check your policy before getting deep into your claim. Check your dwelling coverage, other structures coverage (also known as coverage B), personal property coverage, additional living expense coverage, and hurricane deductible information. Policies should clearly list your limits, exclusions, and other relevant information.

Step 4) Be prepared for a hurricane deductible. Some policies have a hurricane deductible, which is a special (more expensive) deductible you pay in the event of a named hurricane. Other policies, however, have no real difference between hurricane claims and storm damage claims. Some states allow insurers to charge a hurricane deductible, while others do not. Typically, you pay a hurricane deductible based on the affixed percentage of your home’s value – typically around 2%. However, this amount could be anywhere from 1% to 10%. For most homeowners, that’s significantly higher than your ordinary homeowners insurance deductible.

Step 5) Working with the insurance company’s adjuster. Your insurance company sends its own adjuster to your property. This adjuster works with you to check damage and verify coverage before helping you restore the property to pre-loss condition. They may recommend restoration contractors, for example. Or, you can pick your own contractors. The adjuster may also authorize the upfront payment of additional living expenses to cover emergency costs. During this period, you may want to get quotes from multiple contractors for repairing your home.

Step 6) Decide whether you want to hire a public adjuster. Is your insurance company dragging its feet, pushing back against your claim, or engaging in underhanded behavior to reduce or deny your claim? Do you want to speed up your claim and potentially increase your claim settlement? You may want to hire a public adjuster. A good public adjuster can increase claim payments , speed up your claim, and ensure you receive the appropriate amount of compensation for your claim.

The 2024 Hurricane Season Could Be Worse Than Normal

Experts are predicting the 2024 hurricane season will be much worse than normal.

According to NOAA National Weather Service forecasters, there’s an 85% chance of an above-normal hurricane season in 2024.

Some of the reasons for an above-normal season include warmer-than-average ocean temperatures, development of La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean, and reduced Atlantic trade winds. Historically, these factors have led to an increased risk of severe hurricanes.

The 2024 hurricane season started on June 1 and will last until November 30, 2024.

Schedule a No-Cost Consultation with a Public Adjuster Today

Struggling with your hurricane damage claim? Not sure how to proceed with your claim? ClaimsMate can help.

ClaimsMate has a team of public adjusters experienced with hurricane claims. Most homeowners aren’t hurricane claim experts. Unfortunately, insurers can take advantage of this experience to pay you less for your claim.

Contact ClaimsMate today for a no-cost consultation with a hurricane damage insurance claim expert.

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