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Hurricane! How to Get Compensation after Significant Home Damage

Hopefully, you’ve survived the recent hurricanes without incident, but with so many people suffering damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma you might be wondering how to get compensated if you suffer damage. For instance, suppose you are in the situation of my neighbor David. His roof was about 20 years old and so had about 5 years of life left in it before he was going to have to replace it. But along came hurricane Irma which ripped off about a dozen shingles and created leaks and potential leaks.


According to dictionary.com, Compensation is:  “making up for someone’s loss, damage, or injury by giving the injured party an
appropriate benefit.”  The damage can include financial loss, and repairs but time or productivity can as well be included as being a part. Typically it is hard to quantify compensation; should compensation restore an individual to the position they would have been if the items were not damaged or should they receive a new equivalent. In David’s case, should he get a new roof or a repaired roof? Sometimes it depends on your insurance policy or insurance company. If David has a “replacement policy” the company is obligated to provide him with a new roof. However, unfortunately he doesn’t. His policy covers “Actual Cash Value” or “ACV” for more information on ACV see the following video.

Note: When looking at your own policy look for something called “Wind/hail Coverage” to determine what type of coverage your roof has.

So when his adjuster comes out he estimates that repairs on his roof entitle him to $1,500 compensation. Unfortunately, David has $1,000 deductible so he will only get $500 and a new roof will cost him $3,000. So he will be out $2,500 if he decides to get a new roof 5 years early.

David decided to get a second opinion so he hired an adjustment company which came out and found additional damage to the edges of many of the shingles that were partially lifted by the hurricane but not fully torn off. So their report gives him some extra leverage with the insurance company to obtain a better settlement.

According to East Coast Public Adjusters, “If your home has been damaged and you need to file an insurance claim, a whole chain of events, deadlines and tasks are created. Most people have not been through this process before and the lack of experience can make this a very daunting process…”

They also remind us that: “the adjuster that the insurance company sends works for them not for you.”

So you want a professional on your side. But it is also important to treat the insurance company’s adjuster nicely. He has a lot of power, so it is best to treat him well.

The best stage to contact an independant adjuster is immediately after a loss has occurred, even if you have not reported the loss yet, they can do that for you as well. If the claim has already been filed, they will ease your workload by communicating to the insurance company about the loss that all matters should be addressed through their office. They will be there to help you make the best decisions regarding the settlement so that you won’t feel like you are “leaving money on the table”.

Rent Compensation

Claim for refund of rental fees is possible if you can’t use your home until repairs are done. If your policy includes coverage for additional living expenses (ALE) and you have been forced into temporary housing as a result of your loss, you should receive reimbursement for those expenses as well.

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About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+