Hurricane Irma’s historic size and impact have been felt throughout Florida, with particularly damaging force in the Keys and southwestern areas of the state. Recovery will take time and require work and resources we are just beginning to understand. We hope that you, your family and your community are safe following this event. Our offices are currently open; however, our Marco Island office is closed indefinitely due to storm damage.
***Important Information Regarding Hurricane Irma Related Claims***
If you have experienced a loss as a result of Hurricane Irma, please be sure to read the important information below and take the necessary steps to file your claim. In the event a loss has occurred, you can also report your claim directly to your insurance carrier. Visit the links below to obtain the necessary contact information.
Important Information Regarding Your Claim:
- Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to contact you at the number you provided on your claim report. Be sure to let us know if that has changed or if there is an alternate number where you may be reached. Insurers usually send adjusters to the more severely damaged properties first. If you suffered minor damage, please be patient. Claims that have been reported to our office will be followed up as follows: Severe Claim – 7 days after reporting; Moderate Claim -15 days; Minor Claim – 30 day follow-up.
- If your business or home is uninhabitable or you move somewhere else temporarily, be sure to let the insurance company or Gulfshore Insurance know where you can be reached. Spray-painting your building is not recommended as most policies do not cover exterior painting. Your name and correct address should be sufficient for an adjuster to find you. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR POLICY NUMBER as someone else may take advantage of that.
- In some instances, an adjuster may issue you an advance check. This advance will be deducted from your final claim payment and is considered to be an “emergency advance”. Please do not be offended if they ask you for identification. This is for your protection.
- If you have a still or video camera, take pictures of the damage including your contents, prior to making any temporary repairs.
- Begin making temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Save all of your receipts, the company will ask for them at a later date. Do not remove any of the debris until it has been seen by the adjuster.
- Do not attempt to make permanent repairs on your home or business until an adjuster has inspected it.
- You will be required to complete a Personal Property Inventory form for damaged items. We suggest that you complete this on a per location basis. List the “Replacement Cost” of each item and its actual cash value, if you know it. Replacement cost is what it would cost today to replace an item with another one just like it.Actual Cash Value is what the item is really worth after deducting for depreciation and wear. Attach any documentation you can (receipts, photos, cancelled checks, credit card statements, warranty booklets, etc.).
- Most homeowners and business owner packages provide for removal of trees or branches that have fallen on your structure. They usually do not pay for removal of trees or debris that blew into your yard or fell in your yard without damaging anything. This coverage will vary by company.
- If your property is rendered uninhabitable, most policies provide Loss of Use Coverage which is designed to reimburse you for extra expenses and temporary housing. Usually, the temporary housing dollar amount is based on the fair market value of your home or apartment and the length of time you will be displaced. (Subject to your policy limits.) Extra Expense coverage is designed to reimburse you for the extra expenses you incur to maintain your business after a loss that you would not normally incur, such as renting a temporary space, additional mileage, generators, electrical, computer or phone expenses over and above your usual costs, if you have this coverage. The policy you have with your insurer does not obligate them to pay you the policy limit upfront. You must incur the extra expense and provide proof of loss in the form of receipts or invoices.
- If you are unable to temporarily relocate your business and must completely shut down until repairs are made, or if you do maintain operations but at a lower business volume, you may also be able to recoup some of your lost profits and continuing expenses, such as payroll for key employees, if your policy includes Business Interruption coverage.
- If you have had a change of mortgagee on a property; completed paying for a vehicle or piece of equipment; or had a change in the named insured (due to death or divorce, etc.), then make sure that you have notified us and an endorsement is made to correct your policy. Any related checks with an insured lienholder will be made payable to YOU AND THE LIENHOLDER, as shown on your policy.
- If you have not heard from an adjuster within 7 to 14 days, notify us immediately so that we can determine what the delay is. We can assist you with your claim.
- Depending on the severity of storm damage in your area, you may need to arrange to meet the adjuster somewhere and then proceed to your property. We will attempt to assist you in coordinating these meetings if necessary.
Warning! Don’t Become a Victim of Insurance Fraud!
An Assignment of Benefits is an agreement that transfers all insurance policy benefits and rights from you, the policyholder, to a third party such a contractor or repair vendor after damage has occurred to your property. An AOB is intended to help expedite the claims process and make things easier for the insured, but oftentimes, and AOB is fraudulently misused for repair vendors to seize control of the claims process with the intention of overcharging and inflating repair costs, often while keeping the insured in the dark. We recommend never signing an AOB and transferring your benefits to a vendor. If you have experienced damage from the Hurricane, please call your insurance company first or contact a member of our team. We are here to help!
Information for Homeowners
- How to Prepare for a Storm
- Evacuation Planning Resources
- How to Build an Emergency Prep Kit
- Recommended Items to Include in a Disaster Kit
- Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies
- How to Prepare Your Pets for a Natural Disaster
- Preparing for a Power Outage
- Don’t Risk a Reduced Payment – Secure Your Shutters When a Hurricane Watch or Warning is Issued
- Hurricane Survival Guide: What to Do During and After the Storm
- Proper Debris Management after a Disaster
Information for Businesses
- Preparing a Business for a Hurricane
- 5 Ways Businesses Can Prepare for Hurricane Season
- 4 Items You Won’t Find on Most Hurricane Prep Lists that Could Save Your Business
- Hurricane Preparedness for Businesses
- Are You Ready? A Hurricane Prep Review
- Resuming Business Operations after a Disaster