Returning Home After Hurricane Irma – What’s Next?
With Hurricane Irma downsized to a tropical storm, the long recovery process begins. Marsh Private Client Services is here to help. The following tips and suggestions can help guide you through what’s next:
- Wait for direction from local officials before returning home to evacuated areas. The storm may affect your ability to access certain areas and continue to disrupt daily activities.
- For emergency assistance, contact 911 or the Coast Guard at any of these numbers: 281-464-4851, (4852), (4853), (4854), (4855).
- File a claim as soon as you are able. Report the loss to your Marsh PCS Client Advisor, a Marsh PCS Claims Analyst, or your insurance carrier. Include information on the date and time of loss, cause of loss, location, property involved, loss estimate (if available), and your complete contact information (phone and email).
- Once you are home, take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. Your claims adjuster may need evidence of the damage and damaged items to prepare your repair estimate, so keep a sample of damaged items (e.g., swatches from carpeting or pieces of flooring) where possible. If necessary, place these items outside of the home.
- It is important to protect your property from further damage as much as possible while staying safe. Save your receipts from expenses incurred while trying to mitigate additional loss.
- Refrain from making permanent repairs until you have received direct communication from your insurance carrier.
- Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their age and value. Supply receipts for those items to the claims adjuster if possible.
- If your car has been in flood waters, it’s safest not to attempt to drive it.
- If you need to request FEMA aid, do so at your earliest convenience. You can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362. For more information, visit fema.gov/hurricane-irma.
- When the time comes to find a contractor to make repairs, only hire contractors who can provide proof of insurance – including general liability, auto, workers’ compensation – and who require their sub-contractors to carry these coverages as well. Contractors should also be familiar with local flood building codes as well as coastal windstorm building codes and inspection requirements.
It is important to report Florida hurricane losses even if they fall below your deductible amount. Be sure to maintain records and receipts in order to apply losses to any subsequent hurricane claims this year. In the state of Florida, the hurricane deductible is applied on an annual basis to all covered hurricane losses that occur during the calendar year. This applies to any property losses that are covered under one or more policies issued by the same carrier.
Marsh PCS is committed to client advocacy, and never is that more important than when filing a claim. Our dedicated Claims Advocacy Team is ready to assist you throughout the claims process. To file a claim through Marsh PCS, email PCSLV.Claims@marsh.com or call 866-829-3036.