Irma is gone but unfortunately she’s left a trail of damage in her wake. If, like so many Floridians, your home or other property has been affected and you require financial assistance to repair or replace what’s been lost, then this post is especially for you. If, however, you were one of the lucky ones who made it through the storm without a scratch, you can still benefit from the information here—because we never know when the next storm may hit.
First, file your claim as soon as possible. After a major storm, insurance companies are swamped and handle claims as they come in. Don’t be last in line! One you’ve filed your claim, keep written records of everything—your claim number, interactions with your insurance company, names of any insurance agents you speak with, and receipts for any expenses incurred as a result of the storm. When the adjuster comes to your home, find out if he or she is an independent adjuster or an employee of your insurance company. If independent, be sure to get the name of the person at the insurance company who will be receiving the information about your claim.
If you do not have insurance, or if your insurance isn’t sufficient, there are other options for financial help. In areas of federally declared disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers assistance to those who qualify. There is no maximum income limit for FEMA’s Individual Assistance grants and they do not have to be repaid. Some applicants will be directed to the Small Business Administration (SBA) which offers loans to both businesses and individuals after insurance and FEMA assistance have been used. It should be noted that the SBA’s loans do need to be repaid. To apply for FEMA assistance, go to disasterassistance.gov.
To apply for an SBA loan, go to disasterloan.sba.gov.
Here at Castle, we’ve experienced our share of hurricane recovery. Save yourself the stress of dealing with damage—contact us today to see how we can help protect your home and prevent damage when the next hurricane strikes.