Mother Nature’s wrath is unpredictable, but the best defense against a hurricane or tropical storm is a great offense. Hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts through November 30. Help protect your home and family by planning ahead.
BEFORE THE STORM
Review Your Coverage: It’s a good idea to review your Florida home insurance policy annually to make sure your coverage needs haven’t changed. Don’t forget, too, that standard homeowners insurance policies do NOT cover flood loss, and federal flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect. Speak with your agent about your coverage today.
Hurricane-Proof Your Home: Install storm shutters, replace old garage doors that are approved for both wind pressure and impact protection, and make sure exterior doors have at least three hinges with a dead bolt lock one-inch long or more.
Create a Home Inventory: Having a complete record of property expedites the claims process and helps ensure that you are reimbursed for your belongings. This can easily be done with a smartphone or video camera.
Make an Emergency Supply Kit: Be sure to have enough food, water, toiletries, and supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Include medicine, glasses, first aid items, a battery-operated weather radio, flashlights, batteries, a cell phone, and mobile device chargers in your kit.
Know Your Evacuation Route: Learn the location of your area’s emergency shelters.
Take Precautions for Your Pet: Many disaster shelters are by law not allowed to accept pets. The LAST thing you want to do is leave your four-legged friend at home alone if you have to evacuate – if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet, either. Make a list of "pet-friendly" places, boarding facilities and veterinarians, including 24-hour phone numbers, and keep it with your disaster supplies.
Gather Your Important Documents: Keep your insurance policy and other critical papers in a waterproof and portable container, so you can quickly grab them on the go.
Eliminate Debris: Bring yard and outdoor items in if they could be picked up by the wind. Trim trees and shrubbery.
Purchase Flood Insurance: Storm surge - not wind - causes the most damage and destruction after a hurricane. Flooding is not covered by standard home insurance policies, and must be purchased separately.
DURING THE STORM
Remain Informed: Listen to the radio or TV for the latest on the storm’s path and wind speed.
Secure Your Home: Close windows, blinds, shutters, and doors, including interior doors.
Prepare Your Food: Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed to keep it cold as long as possible.
If the Storm Is Headed Your Way: Take cover on the lowest level of your home, preferably in a room with no windows, such as a closet or hallway.
Stay Put: The eye of the storm is calm, but after it passes, you’ll begin to experience hurricane force winds again. In addition, tornadoes can be spawned by hurricanes, so try to verify that the storm has fully passed before you begin the recovery process.
Stay Connected: If your landline and power go out, use your smart device to access useful sources of information like your local news channels, the National Hurricane Center, American Red Cross, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. It’s also a great idea to connect with the official American Integrity Insurance social media community in order to get the latest information about how the company is helping customers recover from the storm. Don’t forget to charge your devices ahead of time.
Wait Until It’s Safe Before Returning Home: If you evacuated, don’t go back to the area until it has been declared safe by local or state officials.
AFTER THE STORM
Make Temporary Repairs: If you can safely do so, take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage, such as boarding up a broken window or tarping a roof. Take pictures of the damage and save all receipts for any purchases you need to make. Refrain from making permanent repairs until an adjuster has had a chance to assess the damage.
File Your Claim: American Integrity Insurance has a 24/7 claims hotline that’s dedicated exclusively to assisting customers impacted by a large, catastrophic event. Customers should call 844-MyAIIC1 or file a claim online on our Claims Portal to report their storm-related losses. Please read details about the claims and settlement process below. It’s important to note that, after a catastrophe, our claims response is based on damage severity – our immediate and primary goal is to provide assistance to customers whose homes are unlivable, and then we shift our resources to help all other customers whose homes were damaged by the storm.
Emergency Cleanup: American Integrity Insurance recommends that our customers use Nexxus Solutions Group, a trusted network of preferred contractors, for their post-loss home repair needs. These licensed and insured contractors undergo an in-depth credentialing process, and Nexxus offers a three-year warranty on their work. American Integrity Insurance policyholders receive a discount on their repair bill when using this network of contractors.
Claim Checks: If you have a mortgage on your home, payment for your home repairs will be in the form of a check made payable to you and your mortgage company. The mortgage company must endorse the check, so contact the company to find out their process for this situation.
Avoid Scams: Unfortunately, “storm chasers” prey on vulnerable homeowners, promising quick fixes and offering to relieve you of the “burden” or “hassle” of dealing with your insurance company. If you sign an Assignment of Benefits contract, you relinquish control of your claim to a contractor – a decision that could cost you money, or even your home, if a contractor places a lien on your home for unpaid repair bills. To avoid this problem, call your insurance company to report your claim before hiring a contractor. Read all paperwork carefully and ask for recommendations and credentials when selecting a contractor.
TO FILE A CLAIM
For tropical storm or hurricane-related claims, please contact us as soon as possible at 844-MyAIIC1 or file a claim online
When filing a claim, please have the following information available:
- Your contact information
- Photos of the damages right after the loss
- Invoices for any temporary repairs or mechanical parts
- Receipts and invoices for incurred expenses if your home is deemed unlivable. Please note that coverage for these expenses is known as Additional Living Expenses (ALE). Be sure to ask your claims representative if ALE is included in your policy.
We will be working diligently to provide all policyholders with the attention they need and deserve and have partnered with several adjusting companies to ensure we have the personnel to respond as quickly as possible.
After assisting customers whose homes are uninhabitable to help them obtain safe shelter, food and other basic needs, we will settle our remaining claims based on damage severity. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we’re committed to keeping you posted throughout the claims process. Once an adjuster has assessed the damage at your home, you can expect a settlement of your claim within 30 days.
Does your Policy Include Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage? Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage reimburses you for the extra costs you incur when your home is deemed unlivable and is being restored. This coverage includes reasonable payments for lodging, food, clothing and other associated expenses. It is disbursed immediately once approved. This is also referred to as loss of use coverage.
Know what to expect in the event of claim: Most of our policies include this coverage, but it’s important to speak to your agent or review your policy to be certain you have it. Make sure to keep all post-storm receipts to submit for reimbursement consideration.
To check the status of your claim, please log-in to our Claims Portal.