ORLANDO, Fla. — Plenty of counties in Central Florida are now facing destruction after Hurricane Ian hit between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
AAA said it anticipates a significant number of claims due to widespread flooding and wind damage.
The company is advising residents to follow these steps when assessing the wreck made by the hurricane:
- Document damage as soon as possible. Take photographs and videos for your insurance claim and personal records. The more documentation you have, the easier it is to file your claim.
- Prevent further damage. Do only what’s necessary to prevent further damage, such as covering broken windows with plastic or getting a pro to cover the roof with tarps to keep the rain out.
- Document expenses and keep receipts for any preliminary repairs, displacement or other out-of-pocket expenses related to the claim, which can count toward your deductible. This could include tree removal, tarps, ice chests for food, overnight stay in a hotel, etc.
- Contact your insurance company immediately to begin the claims process.
- Be leery of contractors who go door-to-door offering repair services and promising to file an insurance claim on your behalf.
- Hire a licensed contractor to do the repairs after an insurance adjuster has reviewed the damage.
In cases of extreme damage, such as if your home is destroyed or uninhabitable, please find a safe place where your family can stay while you continue to weather the storm or while your home is repaired.
Check your policy or ask your insurance agent to make sure you have this coverage and to determine its monetary value and time limits.
Widespread flooding from this hurricane will likely result in significant damage to vehicles. Flooding is often covered by “comprehensive” auto insurance policies.
However, because Floridians are not required to carry this coverage option, some may not be protected.
When a car has been partially or completely submerged, it’s recommended that you do the following:
- Do not attempt to start a vehicle if the water level rises above the door opening and the interior of the car is wet. Doing so could cause major problems if flood water has contaminated the engine oil or other vehicle fluids.
- Take photos from the exterior of the vehicle. Do not open the doors if the water levels are still high.
- Once the waters have receded, take photos of the interior.
- Contact your insurance provider.
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