We are a few days out from Hurricane Ida coming through southeast Louisiana and bringing nothing but trouble to all of us. Other than waiting for Entergy to plug the extension cords back in, you need to start working on some things as a homeowner!
#1: Apply with FEMA
You may not get very much money, but even if it’s $500 to help cover the costs of your spoiled refrigerator contents, it’s better than nothing! Head to disasterassistance.gov to get the ball rolling.
#2: Take photos
If you’re prepping for an insurance claim, take as many photos as possible. Make sure you get your address in some of the pics too. Insurance wants to see it all. You can’t take enough of them!
#3: Make that insurance claim
For named storms, any claims made will go towards your deductible for this hurricane season. It won’t hurt your premium to file a claim after a major named storm.
Also, do not wait to file this claim. Some insurance providers require you do this within a few days after the damage. Get on it NOW!
#4: Save receipts
While you’re evacuated, save all those receipts! If you manage to get loss of use covered by your insurance, you will need those receipts from your hotel stay.
#5: Don’t hire just anyone
Right after storms, contractors are coming in from every corner of the country to make some money. Having seen it after Hurricane Katrina, I can tell you that many will take your money and never complete the job. Start calling LOCAL contractors ASAP to get quotes and get on their list!
#6: Take a deep breath
I know. This is stressful. We all want to be home, with power and water, and not shacking up in seedy hotels and friend’s spare rooms. We are going to get there. But take a mental health check and sit in the car and scream if you have to!
#7: Don’t assume
Just because your neighbor’s tree fell into your yard doesn’t mean they have to pay for damages. It’s best to call your insurance company and let them sort it out!
On a final note, this message is from an insurance adjuster:
“I’d like to say that as an adjuster, we literally want to pay you and get your claim closed – but we have to justify every single penny spent, and that means you have to have the proof of your loss. That is receipts, photos of items, serial numbers, screenshots of payments/cleared checks. And please know your policy. If you paid $1100 for a TV 15 years ago, do not expect $1100 now. Also, don’t let work begin before your insurance company has reviewed and approved your initial estimate. You could be stuck owing for something a contractor swears they will pay, but they don’t write the policy and don’t know!”
Need to buy or sell real estate in New Orleans or the metro area? Text us!