Hurricane Ida: How to Bounce Back After a Natural Disaster

There are few things as devastating as being affected by a natural disaster. We have seen natural disasters like hurricanes take their toll on many areas in the US, causing widespread damage and emotional distress to those they reach.

And with it being almost 14 years to the day since Hurricane Katrina ravaged its way through New Orleans, the events of hurricane Ida have been particularly emotional and triggering for those in the Louisiana community.

If you and your property have recently fallen victim to the effects of Hurricane Ida in the Gulf area, it can be hard to know where to start in order to practically bounce back. But if you take action and utilize your insurance coverage early on, it will make a big difference in how quickly you can rebuild your life and return to normalcy. Being stationed here in the Louisiana area myself, I have taken some time to provide my thoughts and advice on how to recover after being affected by hurricane damage.

Make Sure You and Your Loved Ones Are Safe

After experiencing something as alarming as the immediate effects of a hurricane, I think the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. First, make sure you and your loved ones are safe. Check-in with those close to you via texting, calling, and social media. After making sure your family and loved ones are accounted for and immediate needs are identified and/or met, you can move forward to assess any damage to your property, and file any necessary claims with your insurance provider.

Assess All Damage and Take Photos

Take the time to photograph or videotape any damage to your home, yard, belongings, and vehicles right away. Of course, be careful of any debris. Also make sure to cover up any holes in your roof or windows, but don’t throw away any damaged items until an adjuster is able to document them. Save any receipts for what you spend on temporary or smaller repairs, and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement afterward. Payments for temporary repairs are part of the total settlement.

Contact Your Insurance Agent and File Claims

Now it is time to notify your insurer that you need to file a claim. First, ask how long it will take until you are visited by an adjuster. An adjuster is a person who will inspect the damage and help you arrive at a settlement. Your insurance company may also send you a proof of loss form to complete. Either way, the more information you have about your damaged possessions, the faster your claim generally can be settled.

You have to also remember that in the situation of a natural disaster that you aren’t the only one with a claim, so try to be patient with the carrier. The last thing you want to do is rush the claim process and not get everything you are entitled to.

During this process, I prefer to run the entire claim so I can verify everything the carrier is saying. If I'm not your agent and you have general questions, feel free to reach out directly and I will help walk you through your claim. 

Does Your Insurance Policy Have Loss of Use?

If there is damage to your home, and it is covered by your policy, you most likely will need to leave it while it’s being repaired. Do you have the cost of a hotel or temporary apartment in your budget? Having loss of use coverage included in your homeowner's insurance policy can help. This coverage pays for your stay at a hotel, or to rent a house to live in and storage units to store anything salvaged from the house, while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Ask your insurance agent if this is currently included in your homeowner's insurance policy, or consider having it added for future coverage.

Hire a Reputable Contractor For Repairs

After a catastrophic storm hits a specific area, you can expect professional roofers and contractors to start flooding in. So, it is important that you use a reputable contractor for repairs, preferably one who is licensed and insured. I personally would recommend hiring local contractors. Be sure to make them show you proof of their license and insurance.

Evaluate Your Current Coverage

After your claim has been settled and the repair work is underway, take the time to re-evaluate your current homeowner's insurance coverage. Was your home adequately insured during the most recent storm? Talk to your insurance agent or company representative about any possible changes you would like to see made.

All this to say, if your agent gave you a 1-800 number the last time you needed to file a claim with your homeowner's insurance policy, you need a new agent. Give me a call today and I will help you walk through the best coverage for you step-by-step. 

Contact Wade Here!

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