After the Hurricane, Dealing With Insurance Claims

But consumers should take care to avoid fraudulent contractors who prey on disaster victims. Legitimate contractors will not demand cash upfront, the office of Florida’s chief financial officer warned in a Hurricane Dorian advisory. The office also alerted consumers to beware of impostors who claim to be representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and ask for money to help file insurance claims or obtain disaster assistance.

“FEMA does not charge for this service and does not go door to door in this capacity,” the office said.

If damage to your property is relatively minor, and the cost of repairs is unlikely to top your deductible, consider not filing a claim, Ms. Bach said. You may not receive any payment, she said, and you will have a record of a claim that could end up increasing your annual insurance premium.

“We recommend using common sense,” she said.

Here are some questions and answers about hurricanes and insurance:

How many states have insurance policies with hurricane deductibles?

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have special hurricane deductibles, according to the Insurance Information Institute: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Where can I find my insurance policy’s hurricane deductible?

You can usually find it on your policy’s first or “declarations” page, often in larger type or a bright color that makes it visible.

When does hurricane season officially end?

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Even as Dorian was moving up the coast, other tropical storms were forming far out over the ocean.

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