You may think that you are “in good hands” or that your insurance company is “on your side,” until you experience hurricane damage in Myrtle Beach and try to get your insurance company to help you rebuild…
Does your homeowner’s policy cover hurricane damage in Myrtle Beach? What if you are not in the SC coastal area but experience flooding or damage from high winds as hurricane Florence passes over?
What if your car or other vehicle suffers hurricane damage in Myrtle Beach? Will your auto insurance policy cover it?
You may or may not be covered depending on the terms of your policy and the cause of the damage. Below, we will cover some basic information about when insurance policies may or may not cover hurricane damage, and when you may need a hurricane damage attorney to help you get compensation for hurricane damage in Myrtle Beach or the surrounding areas.
Does My Insurance Policy Cover Hurricane Damage in Myrtle Beach, SC?
There was a time when, if you bought a homeowner’s policy, you could safely assume that it would cover any damage to your home.
That has changed over the years, as insurance companies have added more exclusions and made insurance policies more complicated so that they can avoid paying the costs of catastrophic damage from events like hurricanes or flooding – rest assured that your insurance company does not want to pay a penny more than the courts will require them to pay, and they will deny your claim if possible.
Some companies now refuse to sell insurance policies that cover flooding or wind damage in coastal areas like Myrtle Beach, SC. Other companies will allow you to purchase a separate policy with higher premiums and deductibles that will cover hurricane damage…
Most policies will cover damages that include home damage from wind, hail, flying debris, fire, explosions, break-ins, lightning, or vandalism.
But, most policies today do not cover damage from flooding – one of the main sources of hurricane damage in Myrtle Beach.
Despite this, you may have purchased a separate flood insurance policy from your insurance company or the National Flood Insurance Program, or you may have hurricane damage coverage with a higher deductible – you will need to review your policies carefully to determine whether hurricane damage caused by flooding is covered.
Wind damage may be covered by your homeowner’s policy, but, again, you will have to carefully read the policy to find out.
Although most homeowner’s policies cover wind-related damage, your policy may completely exclude wind damage if you live in a coastal area like Myrtle Beach, or it may exclude wind damage when the wind is combined with flood damage or during a hurricane…
Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage in Myrtle Beach?
If you are a renter, your belongings are probably not covered by the landlord’s insurance policy. Your renter’s insurance should cover damage to your personal property, but you will need to read the policy carefully to see whether it excludes damage caused by flooding, winds, or hurricanes.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage in Myrtle Beach?
Your auto insurance policy should cover hurricane damage to your car if you have collision and comprehensive insurance – but, if you have only the mandatory insurance limits required by the state of SC, you will not be covered unless you are in an accident that is someone else’s fault…
And, like every other type of insurance, you must read your policy careful to see what the policy excludes from coverage.
Although most people think of hurricane damage caused by floods, high winds, or fallen trees, the extreme conditions in a hurricane also cause a huge spike in auto accidents – if your car begins to hydroplane due to conditions caused by the hurricane, and you slide into another car on the road, are you covered?
You should be, although it will depend on the language in your policy and whether there is an exclusion that covers your situation…
Comprehensive insurance (non-collision coverage) should also cover damage to your vehicle during a hurricane. Depending on the language in your policy, you may be covered for damage to your car caused by falling trees, flooding, or high winds.
How Do I File a Claim with My Insurance Company After a Hurricane?
Immediately after the storm, you should:
- Document all damage with photographs and video;
- Do whatever is necessary to prevent any further damage – cover broken windows, cover any holes in the roof or walls, and make sure that the insurance company cannot later claim that any of the damage was due to your negligence; and
- Notify your insurance company that you are going to be filing a claim.
Document all your communications with the insurance company – keep notes of who you talked to, the date and time of the conversations, and exactly what was said. Follow up with written letters or emails to make a record of your communications with the adjuster.
Can I Start Cleaning Up Immediately After a Hurricane?
You should begin contacting contractors who can make the necessary repairs and get written estimates from them but do not begin making any repairs until the insurance company’s adjuster has inspected the damage and approves the repairs.
Do not begin any clean-up until you have photographed and made a video of the damage. And be cautious of fraudulent contractors – get written estimates, a written contract, and approval from the insurance adjuster before they begin work.
What if Insurance Denies My Claim?
If you have suffered significant damage, you should consider consulting a Myrtle Beach hurricane damage lawyer immediately to have them review your policies, determine what the insurance company is responsible for, and to file the claim and communicate with the adjuster for you.
If you have a valid claim and the damage is either covered or the policy is unclear about coverage, you may have an insurance bad faith claim against your insurance provider.
Hurricane Damage Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, SC
If you suffer damage to your home, vehicle, or other property during a hurricane in Myrtle Beach, do not allow your insurance company to limit or deny coverage that they are obligated to pay. Contact a Myrtle Beach hurricane damage lawyer as soon as possible to maximize your recovery and to hold your insurance company accountable if they attempt to deny a valid claim.
Call now at (843) 488-5000 or email us today to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach attorney who is ready to assist you with your hurricane damage claim.