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NEW YORK, Aug. 27, 2020 – Homeowners, renters, businesses, and vehicle owners impacted by Hurricane Laura need to know how the insurance claim filing process works and what’s covered under standard insurance policies, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
There are four keys to economic recovery after a natural disaster strikes, the Triple-I says.
1. Start the claims process as soon as possible
Be prepared to give your insurance professional—either an agent or an insurance company representative—a description of the damage to your property and a copy of your home inventory, if you have one. Your insurance professional will report the loss immediately to your insurer or to a qualified adjuster. They also will want your cellphone number to update you on the claim’s status.
2. Understand what’s covered
Damage caused by windstorms is covered under standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies. A hurricane deductible, which typically runs from two percent to five percent of the insured value of your property, will be applied to property loss claims resulting from hurricane-caused damage.
Property damage to businesses caused by hurricanes is typically covered under a Business Owners Policy (BOP) or through a Commercial Multiple Peril (CMP) policy. Business income (interruption) insurance is an optional coverage that can be included in either a BOP or CMP. It provides coverage if the business’ structure was directly damaged by the hurricane for:
· Revenue lost due to the closure of the business
· Fixed expenses, such as rent and utility costs
· Expenses of operating the business from a temporary location
3. Review Your Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage
ALE, also known as Loss of Use, pays the additional costs of living away from home if you cannot live there either due to a mandatory evacuation or as a result of damage to your home from an insured catastrophe, such as a hurricane or fire. It is a standard coverage in homeowners and renters insurance policies but ALE is not incorporated into FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies.
Property damage to a home, a renter’s possessions, or a business – resulting from either a flood or storm surge – is covered under a flood insurance policy, which is typically separate from a property insurance policy for a home, rental unit, or a business. Flood policies are underwritten through FEMA’s NFIP and private insurers. More information on these issues can be found at Triple-I’s Resilience Accelerator.
4. Make Sure You Have Comprehensive Coverage for Your Vehicle
Vehicles damaged by either flood or debris, such as falling trees, during hurricanes are covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. drivers have purchased comprehensive coverage.
Triple-I Non-Resident Scholar Dr. Phil Klotzbach—Thursday, Aug. 27, Update
Triple-I Tips During Evacuation Orders
Facts & Statistics:
Homeowners and Renters Insurance
Understanding the Claims Process
The Triple-I has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel. Information about Triple-I mobile apps can be found here.