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Hurricane Irma: 10 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

Hurricane Irma Property Damage Claim

The devastating destruction that Hurricane Irma has left on Florida is unimaginable. Cleaning up after the storm will be a long recovery. Thousands of people will be filing insurance claims, but may be unsure on how to move forward with the process of filing an insurance claim after a hurricane.

Here are 10 tips when filing an insurance claim after Hurricane Irma.

 1. Safety- Ensure the property is safe to enter. Do not go back into your property or mitigate until you know it is safe to do so. If there is standing water still in the house, do not enter until you've had an electrician inspect and turn off all power.

2. Insurance Company and Policy- Get in touch with your agent and/or insurance company to file a claim. You should also request a copy of your policy and read it carefully to understand what is covered under your policy and what is not.

3. Document Your Loss- To prove your claim, it is important that you document your damage. Take a lot of pictures and videos before and during the inspection of the building, damaged personal property, cleanable items, structural damage, and the standing flood levels of water in the building. Make a list of everything that was damaged along with the items value, purchase date, and receipts, if possible, will be important. Make sure you document your loss before doing any clean up or throwing things away.

4. Mitigate Your Loss- This is required by your policy that you must take efforts to prevent further avoidable damages after a loss. This helps preserve your evidence and stop any future damage from occurring. Things to do to help prevent further damage includes putting up tarps, removing wet drywall and carpeting to prevent mold, and boarding up areas of the property. Do not begin cleanup, repairs, or throw anything away until you notify your insurance company! 

5. Beware of Contractors- Only hire licensed contractors to do the work. Beware of signing a contract with an "assignment of benefits" (also referred to as AOB) clause which gives all the rights and proceeds of your insurance claim to the contractor. You are not forced to use the contractors your insurance company recommends either. It's your property so you should control who does the repair and quality of work.

6. Expense and Activities- If your home is uninhabitable, keep a log of any living expenses that can be reimbursed.  Without receipts, you will not be able to collect any Additional Living Expenses (ALE) during the time the house is uninhabitable.

7. Estimates and Reports- Request copies of all estimates and reports from the insurance company adjuster.

8. Proof of Loss- Once the damage for the building/dwelling, the personal property and ALE is assessed, a "Proof of Loss"can be filled. This is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming (along with any necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. Make sure to check for mistakes! See "Common Mistakes When Filling out a Proof of Loss"  to help make sure you fill and file correctly.

9. Do What's Best- As a policyholder, you know your home/ business and what is the best for a recovery. Don't let the insurance company tell you what to do and treat you unfairly.

10. Hire Us- If you feel like the process of managing your insurance claim is too much to handle, intimidating, or if you feel your insurance company is not treating you fairly, hire Miller Public Adjusters. We are a Licensed Florida Public Adjuster that works for YOU, not the Insurance Company. We'll handle every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on rebuilding and recovering from the loss. Our goal is to negotiate the best possible settlement for your damaged property.

 

David Miller
David Miller
My name is David Miller and I am the proud owner of Miller Public Adjusters. With years of experience in the fire and water restoration industry, my passion is to help homeowners and business owners who've suffered a loss, because I know what's it like to have a personal fire loss and an insurance company that doesn't want to pay the claim. Feel free to comment or ask a question. We are here to help in anyway possible.
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READ OUR CLIENT STORIES

Client Name: Amanda W.

If I could provide one crucial piece of advice to anyone dealing with a major loss due to fire, water damage, etc. – it would be to contact Miller Public Adjusters!

Client Name: Gayle S.

“Excellent experience. I had a major fire which destroyed my business. My Insurance company was hostile and adversarial at best. I hired Miller Public Adjusters. They did everything. I never had to have another conversation with a elusive and hostile insurance company. If I hadn’t hired Miller Public Adjusters to represent me, I would’ve lost everything.”

Client Name: Erica F.

“Dave is super knowledgable on the process as he’s not only been in the industry for years but he has also had personal experience with his own fire-damaged home. No matter how trivial you may think your question is Dave and his staff will take the time to make sure your questions get answered and you understand the ramifications. His expertise on the matter quickly turned what seemed to be a hopeless uphill battle into a more manageable playing field.

Client Name: Manny V.

“Top-notch service would recommend Miller Public Adjusters service to anyone. Dave thank you much. The process was great.”

Client Name: Phyllis M.

“David and his staff are outstanding and worth their weight in gold. If you need help with any insurance claim, hire them; you’ll be glad you did! If I could rate them 100 stars, I would!”

Client Name: Sharal D.

"Champions. Warriors. Heroes. Lifesavers! That’s exactly what David Miller and his fantastic team at Miller Public Adjusters are! There really are no words to describe what his team has done for me and my family. We are extremely grateful, and they are WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY you pay them for their services and then some!"

Client Name: Michele K.

“Thankfully, the restoration company referred us here. From that point on, David at Miller Public Adjusters reassured us that he would do everything in his power and knowledge to prove that our homeowners insurance should cover the damages. In the end, we won the case and the claim was paid. I can’t thank David at Miller Public Adjusters enough!”

Client Name: Todd L.

We never would have been able to navigate the confusing world of a total loss claim without their help, guidance and expertise,” Todd stressed. “I would recommend Miller Public Adjusters to anyone who is faced with a traumatic claim that involves dealing with ‘Big Insurance.’ They will absolutely help to alleviate much of the pain.

Client Name: Christine S.

They were successful at getting the maximum settlement from the insurance company. My family and I are always praising Miller Public Adjusters to people who ask us about the fire. We can’t thank them enough.

Client Name: Debbie G.

“Miller Public Adjusters knows what they are doing and stood firm against the insurance company. Miller Public Adjusters got us everything we were entitled to, and even more than we thought, in a matter of months. We did not have to deal with our insurance company and also did not have to purchase anything and turn in receipts for reimbursement. What a time-saving relief. Miller Public Adjusters are knowledgeable, understanding professionals, and we highly recommend them to all our friends and family.”

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