APCIA says insurers ready to assist Houston claimants

APCIA says insurers ready to assist Houston claimants | Insurance Business America

Detailed guidance also provided

Catastrophe & Flood

Terry Gangcuangco

In the aftermath of last week’s severe weather event that brought significant wind damage and widespread power outages to the Houston area, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) has offered assurances that insurers are prepared to assist affected residents and businesses in starting their recovery process.

APCIA president and chief executive David Sampson (pictured) stated: “Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by this devastating and deadly severe weather event. The insurance industry’s overwhelming priority when disaster strikes is to help their customers restore their property.

“The first step to recovery after your property is damaged or destroyed is to file a claim with your insurer as soon as you can safely do so. Insurers are ready to help.”

To aid in the recovery efforts, APCIA is providing guidance on common post-disaster insurance questions. Impacted residents are encouraged to secure their properties to prevent further damage or theft.

Additionally, creating an inventory of lost or damaged items and photographing the damage for the insurance adjuster is recommended. Homeowners are advised to gather receipts, descriptions, and photos of their belongings.

At the same time, it is crucial to be cautious of fraudulent contractors or third parties seeking involvement in the insurance claims process. Residents should carefully evaluate proposals from contractors, public adjusters, and lawyers, and report the damage to their insurer before signing any contracts.

Regarding insurance coverage for wind-related damage, APCIA noted that damage from severe storms, including tornadoes, hail, and high winds, is typically covered under standard homeowners’, renters’, or business policies. However, reviewing the policy to understand specific coverage details is important.

Businesses with property coverage, meanwhile, should document their inventory losses. If a business is closed due to a covered loss or power outage, business interruption coverage might be available. Consultation with one’s agent or insurer is advised. Also, auto policies with comprehensive coverage usually includes vehicle damage.

For temporary living arrangements, residents should check if their policy covers additional living expenses, which can assist with temporary housing, meals, and laundry costs. Retaining all receipts for these expenses is necessary to discuss them with the adjuster.

After reporting a claim, taking measures to prevent further damage is advised, but permanent repairs or discarding damaged property should be avoided before an adjuster’s assessment.

If debris is hazardous, documenting the damage before disposal is essential. Photographing or videotaping any perishable items and keeping all receipts for emergency repairs and additional living costs will support the claim.

Similarly, business owners should maintain detailed records of activities impacted by the loss event and track extra expenses incurred during the interruption. Preparing financial records to show income before and after the loss is beneficial.

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