Hurricane Season Guide for Homeowners – Before and After a Storm

When most people think about the summer season, they envision summer vacations, outdoor recreational activities, backyard barbecues and warm days spent lounging on the beach. It’s often viewed as a carefree time of the year. However, for many people there are two simple words that sit in the back of their minds that can evoke the opposite emotions, especially those living in coastal areas. Those two words? Hurricane season. The thought of a hurricane brewing out in the ocean can quickly change your mindset. Since the season is now in full swing, it’s a good time to start making preparations for the worst-case scenarios while hoping for the best possible outcome.

Hurricane season began on June 1 and runs until November 30, with the most activity typically occurring between August through October. This year, the Atlantic basin has seen more activity than usual with there already being nine named storms and two hurricanes formed. It’s on track to possibly be one of the most active seasons on record. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Colorado State University have increased their hurricane season forecasts this week, along with the Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index, which takes into account not just the number but also the intensity and longevity of storms and hurricanes.

On July 25, Hurricane Hanna was the first hurricane of the year to make landfall in the United States, striking South Texas as a category 1 with winds of over 90 mph and caused flooding, downed trees and power outages. Shortly after Hurricane Isaias, also a category 1 storm, impacted thousands of people from the Caribbean stretching all the way up the northeastern United States, even into Canada. Both of these were only category 1 storms! Now that we’re in the danger zone and, given the increase in predictions of storms and intensity this year, this should serve as a wakeup call that it’s time to get prepared if you haven’t already.

Most people who live in coastal communities, or even those more inland who can still be impacted from indirect hits, know the drill when it comes to hurricane preparation, such as securing essential supplies like bottled water, non-perishable food items, batteries, flashlights and prescriptions. These are essential tasks but what about if you wind up in the direct path and your home endures hurricane damage? Thinking about this type of scenario is uncomfortable and easy to brush off because it’s a lot easier to think “that would never happen to me, my community hasn’t been hit in years,” or “we are always in the path but we get lucky and changes track last minute, we’ll be fine.” Many people feel this way but it’s a real possibility and should always be taken seriously.

If a disaster strikes and your home is damaged, you will need to file a claim through your insurance company first. Whether you have dealt with claim in the past or not, it can be a tedious and confusing process. Plus, when you tack on all of the unexpected post-storm stressors, it only adds to the frustration. As a way to reduce some of those frustrations, Noble Public Adjusting Group can step in to help! We work on your behalf, take estimates of property to accurately report property damage and handle the negotiations with the insurance company to make sure you receive an appropriate settlement that you’re entitled to. We can handle every aspect of your claim from start to finish and can get involved at any point in the process – even if your claim has already been settled.

As a way to help you get prepared, we’ve compiled a few important pre and post-storm guidelines as we head into the peak of hurricane season. These should help you feel more confident that if, or when, a storm heads your direction, you will have a plan in place for handling your insurance claim.

Hurricane Preparation Tips

1.) Request a FREE pre-storm policy review from Noble Public Adjusting Group
How much time have you spent actually looking at your homeowners insurance policy? If a hurricane hit tomorrow, would you know exactly what is and is not covered or how you would get started? If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your policy, or are a new homeowner, you should review and understand these coverages BEFORE the roof is ripped off your home and you’re wondering if’s covered. Insurance policies are not the easiest documents to comprehend and the wording can often be misleading and vague, and you may have some unanswered questions.

Our team at Noble Public Adjusting Group is well-versed in understanding insurance policies and will be happy to conduct a free review for you. An adjuster will break it down in terms that make sense, answer your questions and provide any recommendations they might find. This will provide you with comfort in knowing that your property will be protected, while also providing an opportunity to make any necessary changes before the storm so you can be assured you have the right coverage for your home.

2.) Document home and contents with photos & videos
Make sure you prepare and protect your property prior to the storm by taking photos and videos of your home. These will serve as proof of your property’s pre-storm condition and can be used to compare any damages caused by a storm. The photos and videos should include the outside of your home, including the roof (if possible) and the interior, specifically the floors and ceilings in the case of flooding as well as the contents of your home. Also, document the contents of your home, including entire rooms and the actual items (with make and model numbers, if applicable) and even clothing in all drawers and closets. This will be helpful for the public adjusters when they are negotiating an insurance claim to get you a higher payout.

3.) Keep important documents stored in a portable case
If there’s one thing we know about hurricanes is that they are unpredictable. If you’ve ever watched the updates of a storm, you know that they can speed up, slow down or change course at any given moment. You could unexpectedly find yourself in its path without much warning, leaving you to make a last-minute decision on whether or not to evacuate. If you do end up leaving, it could be days before you can get back to your home. You should consider storing your homeowners insurance policy, house deed and other important documentation in a portable case (waterproof and fireproof options are available as extra precautions) so you can effortlessly pack it in the event of an evacuation. By preparing this in advance, it’s one less thing you’ll have to worry during your last-minute preparations, and you’ll be able to start the claim process ASAP, if needed.

4.) Call Noble BEFORE submitting your insurance claim

Once the storm has passed and your home is damaged, you will need to submit a claim to the insurance company. You can do this on your own before contacting us, as we can help at any point in the claim in the process. However, by contacting Noble before submitting your claim, we’ll be on your side from day one giving you peace of mind that your claim will be handled efficiently and professionally.

The aftermath of a hurricane is a hectic and chaotic time especially for an insurance company, which can get overwhelmed during big weather events. They often hire independent adjusters that are inexperienced and may not do an accurate job on your estimate. Even if you get an experienced adjuster they be more focused on the quantity and not the quality of the claims and will try to settle them as fast as possible for the lowest payout possible. At Noble, we’ll help alleviate some of these worries and can even file your claim.

5.) Let Noble handle the claim
Once your insurance claim has been filed, we’ll schedule an appointment to inspect the storm damage on your property, conduct a thorough policy review and file your claim to make sure that no stone is left unturned and we’ll work to get you the fair amount of money that you are entitled to.

Following these hurricane preparation tips can help alleviate some unnecessary stress in a hectic and unknown situation. By using Noble Public Adjusting Group’s services, you can rest assured that your claim will be taken care of and you you’ll be a step ahead on getting your claim started. We’re here to help you get a step closer to getting your life back in order as quick as possible so you can get back to a sense of normalcy.

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