If you haven’t had to make a claim, your policy and what it covers, might need a refresher.
James Whitfield’s floors walls and balcony were all destroyed during hurricane Irma.
“The next morning is when you could really see all the damage and uh, it was pretty extensive,” Whitfield said.
Whitfield was one of the many all over central Florida who found themselves in similar situations after Irma.
It is a reminder for all homeowners to have insurance and know what’s in it.
Traci Sihle co- owns a local insurance brokerage and recommends everyone in Florida also get flood insurance.
Sihle said last year her company got countless calls as Irma loomed from homeowners asking for flood insurance, but flood insurance polices only go into effect 30 days after the policy is written.
Sihle also suggests if you have a pool to take water out of it. If your pool overflows and floods your home it’s considered negligence and is not covered under flood insurance.
Another suggestion she makes is to take pictures of your possessions and know your deductible.
If you don’t have money to cover your deductible, Sihle suggests making an emergency fund to pay it.
Once a storm hits you’re required to do your best to prevent any further damage as long as it’s safe.
Whitfield did that and called a public adjuster immediately.
“It was the best decision I could make,” Whitfield said.
A public adjuster represents the homeowner instead of the insurance company.
“Essentially the insurance company was trying to undercut, you know, how much I was going to get and then they come in. They represent you and they fight for you and, you know, the amount that I ended up getting was substantially different,” Whitfield said.
Whitfield said his insurance company initially offered him $68,000 which wouldn’t cover half of the damage in his house.
After 8 months of back and forth, Whitfield just signed the final paperwork with Dwyer’s help and will now get $140,000 to rebuild his life.