In light of increased hurricane and wildfire activity this year, policyholders must be wary of suffering a second natural disaster by not knowing how to navigate the insurance claims process. Attorney Chip Merlin, who specializes in insurance claim disputes and author of Pay Up! Preventing A Disaster With Your Own Insurance Company, is giving policyholders helpful advice during these active hurricane and wildfire seasons.
“To survive a hurricane financially, there are several important things you must do in advance. Number one, call and review your insurance with your agent. Is everything named and insured correctly? Do you have enough limits to cover a complete loss? This is even more important if you are a business owner, where mistakes about the names of the corporation, leases, and changes of property are routinely made,” said Merlin.
With over a million acres burned from wildfires in western states and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] already having to shift to the Greek alphabet in naming storms, there is no shortage of threats to policyholders. Being as prepared as possible with your insurance policy is critical to protecting your home or business.
“Those in hurricane areas, make sure you have flood insurance coverage if you are even remotely close to a body of water that will flood from a storm surge or a backed-up river,” Merlin says. “You should have law and ordinance coverage—and a lot of it—if you own a structure older than 20 years. Make certain you have purchased enough insurance so that you will not be penalized for being underinsured or subject to a coinsurance penalty.”
Merlin Law Group has developed multiple assets with helpful tips to help policyholders navigate their insurance claims. These include: