ONE and only ONE Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Sustained Hurricane Damage
No one wants to deal with a hurricane and the damage it leaves in its path. As a born and raised Florida resident, I have seen my fair share of hurricanes. And to be honest, I lived 30 plus years of my life in the state without any real damage to any of my homes. Hurricanes were about days off school or work and hurricane parties with friends and family, until 2016 whirled in Hurricane Matthew! I knew what to do before and during the hurricane but afterward was where I struggled. It took me a year to fully recover from Hurricane Matthew. Here is the ONE thing I wish I knew before sustaining damage.
Communicate through an Insurance Agent if Possible
Establish a relationship and communication with your insurance agency BEFORE a crisis. If your homeowners’ insurance isn’t through an agency, consider switching ASAP.
I know that is a weird tip, BUT I spent more time on the phone with my homeowners’ insurance after the hurricane than I did anyone else. And it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I was one of the thousands of people calling in claims, and though there was a tree inside my house, they didn’t seem all that sympathetic. Now, I can’t imagine having their job during a crisis like a hurricane, but that is the whole reason I have insurance.
They didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them. We had never talked, and I did NOT have an insurance agency mediating for me. It was just me, a thousand other people in a similar situation and the insurance holder. I had to fight for attention and I fought for a whole year!
Two years after Hurricane Matthew, my car was crushed in my yard by a falling branch. (The trees were one of the reasons we picked our house, and now they are a continual threat.) This time I went THROUGH an insurance agency and had an agent representing me…..WOW, what a different experience! The “act of God” happened on the weekend. I called in my claim to my insurance holder, and they took information and told me I would get a call Monday morning. I did get a call Monday morning, but it wasn’t from them, it was from my insurance agent. She IMMEDIATELY got the insurance holder on the phone with me, and I was taken care of in a completely different way. My agent MADE SURE I was taken care of, she made sure I understood all the fine print of my policy from my deductible to all of my coverage.
We all have insurance and we all hope we never have to use it. But when we need it, we need it to be a positive experience. And after having two very different experiences, I have opted to make sure I go through an insurance agency instead of dealing directly and on my own with my insurance holder.
Your insurance agent is there to HELP you and CARE for you. And now I know they CAN and DO help and care. If you can learn from my mistakes, I will feel my experience wasn’t in vain.