Home Owners Insurance FAQs
Click on any question to get started. If your question isn't here, use the search box at the top of this page to search for topics. Should you have any further questions, please consult our Contact Us page.
Some policies will pay for temporary housing if a hurricane makes your dwelling uninhabitable and the damage is caused by a covered peril. Most policies also will cover reasonable expenses for removal of debris and architects and surveyors fees. However you must request these additional benefits and there is usually an additional premium attached. Speak with your insurance company or broker regarding this cover.
You will only receive compensation for damaged furniture and other contents in your private dwelling if you have insured these and therefore they are insured by the company. Depending on the policy, coverage may pay for a new replacement item, or payments may be reduced based on the item's depreciation.
Damage to motor vehicles is not covered by a homeowner’s policy. Hurricane damage, including flooding damage, will be covered by your automobile insurance, provided your policy has ''comprehensive'' coverage.
Homeowners rates usually won't go up following a single hurricane. Rates are based on property insurance payments within the territory over the past several years, plus an amount held in reserve for a hurricane or other catastrophic event. Rates usually will be increased only after a series of large catastrophic loses that depleted this reserve. A homeowner's policy is not likely to be cancelled solely because of a hurricane. Companies could decide against continuing a policy if there were hazards on the property that aggravated the damages, such as dead trees or a faulty roof, and if there had been other losses on the policy in recent years.
- Immediately report all these incidents to the police and the Fire service, in case of fire.
- Where a crime has been committed do not tamper with any potential evidence before the arrival of the police
- Take photos where possible to show entry, exit and damage
- Contact our Claims Department or your broker representative as soon as possible List all damage / loss to building and contents.
- Locate and secure you insurance policy and any other personal contractual documents.
- Take photos of damage
- Secure premises with board, tarpaulins etc. to prevent further loss or damage to building and contents
- Keep all invoices and receipts for sums spent in securing the premises
- Contact our Claims Department or your broker representative as soon as possible for guidance
- Clean up debris Salvage as much as possible.
- Dry out electrical items, clothing etc.
- If necessary, use a generator to run essential electrical appliances e.g. freezers
- If the premises are rendered uninhabitable, seek reasonably priced temporary alternative accommodation. There is some coverage under your policy.
Most insurance companies will not issue new homeowners coverage once an area has been placed under a hurricane watch or warning by the National Weather Service. This moratorium usually remains in effect for 48 hours after the watch/warning has lifted.
Make sure you have an adequate inventory of personal property. This inventory should include receipts, serial numbers, photographs and video tapes when possible. If your property is damaged by a hurricane, you should take all reasonable steps to protect it from further damage. Then prepare a list of all damaged and destroyed property.
- Your first official step is to fully complete our claim form and return same to your broker representative or us, ASAP but definitely within 30 days. The forms are available from your brokers, our office or web site.
- For contents, prepare an inventory of damaged / lost items available with date of purchase, purchase price, replacement cost or repair estimate.
- For building, have a detailed estimate from the person(s) you intend to have restore it.
- Make yourself available for claims adjuster.
- Allow at least one hour for adjuster to survey premises and take photos etc. (Have documents ready, e.g. site plan, claim documents).
- Make sure to point out all known damage.
- The adjuster will have local rates sheets for similar types of building repairs and will prepare his costing based on measurements taken by him.
- If his costing is in line with estimate / claim made by you the adjuster might request that you sign Proof of Loss Form which verifies that you accept the amount proposed to you by the adjuster as your loss.
- The adjuster will then send their report to us and we compare your loss with the policy coverage in place.
Info required about Damaged items:
- Item Description
- Year Purchased
- Original Cost
- Replacement Cost or Repair Cost
Indemnity or market value refers to an instance where a deduction is made for wear and tear. The amount which is paid is the amount required to replace the item with a replacement of the same age and in the same condition. This option however is rarely chosen and some insurers do not offer this type of cover.
The other option is new for old or reinstatement. Here the full cost of replacing the item as new is paid. Most insurers deduct a certain amount for wear and tear in certain circumstances; such as clothing and household linen. A deduction may also be made if the sum insured is inadequate or for property over a certain age.