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Hurricane Recovery Guide

from Members Insurance Center

Safety First

  • Listen to the local radio for up-to-date information. If you evacuated don’t return home until local authorities report that it’s safe.
  • Only drive if it’s absolutely necessary, and avoid flooded streets. Roads and bridges may be weakened or washed out. Wet roads can hide downed electrical lines or underlying currents.
  • Check for damage to gas, electric, and sewage systems when you are able to do so safely.
  • Don’t use damaged systems until professionals have checked them.
  • If gas is leaking, turn it off at the main shut-off valve, leave the building, and call a professional for service.
  • Watch out for broken glass and sharp objects, wet electrical systems, live wires, and even snakes or animals that may have taken refuge in your home.

Make Temporary Repairs

If your home or property has been damaged due to the hurricane, it is your responsibility to take action to prevent further damage.

Save all receipts from your temporary repairs.

  • Ventilate your home. Open windows and doors to help dry it out.
  • Cover broken windows and holes in the roof to prevent additional damage from rain.
  • Move wet items to drier ground.
  • Wash and dry whatever you can.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.

If you’re not sure it’s safe, professionals can help, and you should hire a local contractor who specializes in this kind of work.

Report Your Claim

You can report your claim one of two ways. Be ready to provide a general description of your damage.

  1. Contact your insurance company directly
  2. Call Members Insurance Center at 888-238-7511

Document the Damage

Make a complete list of items that were damaged by the hurricane. This will help expedite the claims process. Document the damage with photos and videos.

Don’t throw out damaged items, especially expensive items.

Schedule Repairs

Most insurance companies require that you to wait until the damage to your property has been assessed by a claims representative before you begin making permanent repairs.

However, you should schedule a contractor to make permanent repairs as soon as possible because contractors can be difficult to schedule after a storm.

Review Your Insurance Policy

Check your policy to see what’s covered and the deductible you chose when you purchased the policy. Reviewing your policy will help you prepare questions for your claims representative.

Your insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair common hurricane damage—including damage to roofs, walls, cars, and your belongings. Your deductible applies, however. You also may have a higher deductible for wind/hail damage that applies to hurricanes.

If you can’t live in your home, your insurance company may pay additional living expenses, as noted in your policy, while the damage is assessed and your home is being repaired or rebuilt. If repairs take longer than the period of time covered in your policy, you may be eligible for additional assistance from federal emergency programs.

Remember that most home and business insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If you purchased a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program, contact your agent to file a claim for flood-related damages.

Understand Your Responsibilities

Your insurance company will replace damaged items and materials with the same type and quality of materials you had before the hurricane. For example, if you had a fiberglass roof, they will pay to repair or replace damage with fiberglass materials, but they won’t pay to replace it with more expensive slate tile.

If damage is extensive, people sometimes decide to take the opportunity to upgrade their property with better or more expensive materials.

If you want to pay the additional expense to upgrade, you’re welcome to do so out of your personal budget.

Any time you make improvements to your property, let us know to make sure you have enough insurance coverage, and to find out if you are eligible for new discounts as a result of your home improvements.