Hurricane Insurance Claims

3 Replies

I had some storm damage from hurricane Irma at a property, really just a bunch of shingles broken. I've heard it's rarely a good idea to file a claim against insurance because it can raise rates or cause insurance companies not to renew the policy.  I also just read the hurricanes are considered an "act of God" and claims will not raise your rates. Doe anyone have experience filing a claim for hurricane damage?

Luke.

It is my understanding that "acts of God" do not affect them cancelling you. I am recommending to my clients to file if they have quite a few shingles off because if we have another hurricane that deductible goes toward the next one for this year.

Luke, I've been working Hurricanes and storm related damages for property claims for 17 years as a licnesed General contractor, Commercial roofer and for insurance companies in the field as a Commercial claims IA specifically HOA, apartments and commercial buildings. I worked Irma from Sebring to Daytona down to Melborne. Your area was hit with really high winds and tornadoes that spun off the storm. The insurance companies are allowed to raise rates by zip code not on an individual policy for "an act of God" claim. Insurance rates are going up for everyone regardless if you file a claim or not. This is allowed by the State of Florida. The only claims that count against you as an owner and will get you dropped are 2-3 non storm related claims made in 12-24 month period depending on the Insurance carrier. This information is tracked and shared among carriers.

Typically, you have 4 years to supplement a claim in Florida. I often find that 95% of people I helped are not aware of how to present their claims properly to maximize their repairs and are often fearful of this misinformation related to “acts of God” counting against them. It actually states in every policy I have read, if you believe you have damage you need to contact your insurance company timely and file a claim. It’s your contractual obligation usually says it on the Declarations page of your policy. 

Kim is correct, you can only be charged one deductible per calendar year for an “act of God”.

I’m new to BP so TMI on my first post. Hope this helps answer your question. 

Thanks,

Brad Cook

I am curious what your your deductible is at that property.  At all my rental properties I carry the comprehensive insurance plus flood insurance.  For example at one property the comprehensive is alone is $4500 a year even with a 5% deductible.

So for a property that you insured say 300K on the 5% deductible is 15K.  Even if you go 2% deductible it's 6K.

Add to that most policies now have exclusions.  Some of my rental properties have extensive damages outside, such as down trees, fence collapsed, sheds blown over and none of those are covered since they are not part of the main structures.  I had to cut down trees, remove debris all over, rebuilt fences, erect new mailboxes, and none of these are covered.  I have a hard time seeing how a few shingles will make your deductible unless it's zero.

Irma really hit me hard all my damages came under deductibles on all my properties.  One was at 17K and I was at 15K that was the closest.

On top of that of the claims I filed even none of them meet deductible so I got zero from it, all the carriers mailed me letters demanding to see documentation of the repairs including licensed contractor official invoices, before and after pictures etc...so you won't "pile on" the claim on the next hurricane.

There is also one carrier I think it's called People's Trust which is becoming popular now in FL and there is a lot of talk about their "First Response", since if you go with them you have to call their first response team or you forfeit your claims.  I kept hearing from people that their first response team is always on hold or would schedule something a long time off to come which in some cases like a hole in the roof you can't wait.  If you attempt self repairs or get someone else to do it again you forfeit your claim completely so many people steering clear of People's Trust insurance.