Planning is the first step to being ready for a disaster.
Take time now to review your insurance policy and other applicable insurance resources. Research to learn more about the insurance professionals involved in the claims process, your hurricane deductible and your rights.
Review Your Insurance Policies
- Review your homeowners’, renters’, automobile and other insurance policies to ensure that you understand your coverage, including if food spoilage is covered. If you have questions about your coverage, contact your insurance agent.
- The Department of Financial Services’ Division of Consumer Services’ Consumer Guides Library includes insurance toolkits on each type of insurance:
Understand Your Hurricane Deductible
- Be sure you know how much you will be responsible for if you incur damage from a hurricane. This is called your hurricane deductible. Most policies have a hurricane deductible of 2 to 5 percent of a home's insured value; some are a set amount such as $2,000. Contact your insurance agent to discuss your hurricane deductible and determine if you are eligible for a lower deductible.
Know the Difference Between a Public Adjuster and a Company Adjuster
- Following a disaster, a Public Adjuster may contact you to help with filing an insurance claim and represent your insurance interests to your insurance company.
- Public Adjusters work directly for you and charge a fee based on the percentage of the claim settlement.
- They will require you to sign a contract. Ensure the contract includes all of the required information.
- Company Adjusters work for the insurance company and determine the amount of property damage and what is covered by your policy.
- Company Adjusters do not charge a fee.
Both Company Adjusters and Public Adjusters must be licensed by the state and should be able to present a copy of their license. If you have questions regarding an adjuster’s license or the contract, contact the Department’s Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1.877.693.5236.
Learn About an Assignment of Benefits (AOB)
- An Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is a legal contract that allows you as the policyholder to transfer your insurance rights to a third-party, such as a contractor. The third-party then has rights to the insurance claim and can stand in your shoes as the policyholder.
The third-party can:
- be paid directly for services
- endorse checks on your behalf
- communicate directly with the insurance company without your consent or involvement
- file a lawsuit against your insurance company
- Review the AOB Consumer Protection Tips for more information.