Hurricane Preparedness and Claim Information

One of the first steps is making sure that you have adequate coverage and are prepared.

 - Have you informed Term Brokers of any new additions to your property so that your property coverage can be updated?

 - Take pictures of your home, car, boat, RV, and other possessions. Then, make two copies of the images and file them in a safe place.

- Have you added Florida flood insurance to your policy with Term Brokers?

Here are the steps to follow if you have damage from a hurricane:

Contact Term Brokers, and be sure to have your insurance account information ready.

Call the company that carries your policy

Take photos of the damage.
You should try to prevent further damage by securing property, temporarily boarding up windows and your roof, drying out carpets and personal property, and so on. If further damage results after the hurricane, it may not be covered. Do not begin any permanent repairs or dispose of any damaged property until an adjuster has been able to see the damage. In the case of perishable items, such as food that must be disposed of, take pictures of that property to substantiate the claim. If you don't have pictures as proof, damages may not be covered. Keep all receipts for emergency repairs and items that might qualify under additional living expenses; for example, water, ice, and rental charges for another location if your home is uninhabitable.

Is there anything I can do to speed up the claims process?
Although an insurance company adjuster will contact you as soon as possible, priority is given to the most severe losses. Be aware that your larger claims will be settled in stages, not all at once. Here are a number of things you can do while waiting for the adjuster:

- Secure repair estimates (at least two) for the adjuster to review. This will help them with the settlement process. Take pictures of the damaged property. Also, if you have pictures of the property before the damage, give copies of those to the adjuster as well.

- Make a list of all damaged property, including a description, age, original cost, place of purchase, and estimated replacement cost. If you have any receipts or canceled checks for the items, include them with the list.

What if my home is so damaged I can't stay in it? 
Under most homeowners and dwelling policies, coverage is provided for additional living expenses. If the home is uninhabitable because of damage covered by your policy, most insurers will reimburse you for the reasonable expenses incurred over and above your normal living costs. For example, it would probably cover all reasonable additional housing expenses, but would cover only food costs over and above what you would normally pay for food. Receipts for these expenses are required in order to be considered a part of the loss. The costs must be in line with normal living costs and must be a necessary and direct result of the loss.

What coverage is there for trees that are down?
Unless a felled tree damages a covered property, such as a house or a fence, there is no coverage for damage to trees by "weather perils."

The power was out for five days and the food in my freezer and refrigerator spoiled. Is it covered?
Generally, most policies do not cover food spoilage because of power outages because of the "power failure" exclusion. Some insurance companies provide limited coverage, between $250 to $500, as a coverage enhancement.

When power finally came back on, a power surge damaged some of my electrical equipment. Is it covered?
Most policies include coverage for "sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current." However, the coverage does not apply to loss of transistors, computer chips, and other similar items. This means damage from a power surge would not cover such items as televisions, VCRs, and computers.

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