What happens after a catastrophe claim?
For big disasters, we check in with each customer in the area so if there’s a loss, we can help out faster. We use technology, like satellite imagery and drone footage, to quickly get eyes on the damage, and as soon as we’re able, we get boots on the ground to help you in person.
This ensures we can get you loss of use coverage quickly to help keep you in your own personal space while the rest of the claim is assessed and addressed.
What is a catastrophe claim?
Anyone can have a catastrophic loss at any time, but a catastrophe claim refers to single-event, widespread losses expected to be more than $25 million. These claims can be difficult to process as insurance adjusters may have trouble getting into disaster zones to meet with policyholders.
Claims associated with the following events are usually deemed catastrophe claims:
- Civil unrest
According to the Insurance Information Institute, catastrophe losses are expected to double every decade or so because of more residential and commercial communities with expensive structures. As climate change worsens and more disasters occur, those losses will increase, too.
How to report a catastrophe claim
Kin customers should contact the Claims Center as soon as they experience a loss of any kind, and especially one that results from a natural disaster or other catastrophic event.
Have the following information on hand to file your claim:
- A photo ID. Once boots are on the ground, your claims professional will need some confirmation of your identity.
- Policy information. If you don’t have this readily available, our claims professional can help you with the details.
- Contact information. You may be staying with friends or in a hotel. Make sure we know the best way to reach you.
- Date of loss. We’ll need to know when the loss occurred.
- Description and photos. When possible, we’ll need a full description of the losses. Photos and videos are incredibly helpful.
Remember that providing as much information during the initial claim intake as possible will help speed up the process.
If you’re able to safely do so, mitigate losses next. For example, if a waterline bursts and is flooding the area, turn off your water to prevent more damage.
Following up on a catastrophe claim
Keep all your claims information, documentation, receipts, and messages in a safe place – like Dropbox, Google Drive, or a dedicated email folder. This will help you keep track of what’s going on.
It’s also smart to keep a claims notebook with your emergency supplies so you can easily list:
- The best way to contact you outside of your home
- Claim number
- Adjuster’s name, email address, and phone number
- Date of loss
- Claim details
When checking in on your claim, you may be asked for this information.
Catastrophe claim timelines
Our goal is to process every claim as quickly as possible. But when a major disaster impacts entire neighborhoods – or half the state – processing times may vary.
That said, every Florida homeowner is entitled to a claim acknowledgment within 14 days, claim updates within 30 days of submitting proof of loss, and payments or denial notices within 90 days.
Coverages you’ll likely need in a catastrophe claim
When you file a claim, your claims professional will review your coverage with you. It helps to have your declarations page ready – this summarizes your policy coverages and limits.
These are the coverages you’ll almost always need for a catastrophe claim:
- Coverage A. This protects your home’s structure inside and out – the frame, walls, awnings, electrical systems, plumbing, and more.
- Coverage B. This pays for damage to other structures on your property, like fences, sheds, and detached garages.
- Coverage C. This covers everything you put in your home – your furniture, appliances, clothes, cabinets, and more.
- Coverage D. This helps pay for additional living expenses when a claim forces you to relocate temporarily.
Review your coverage every year to make sure it reflects your current needs. You don’t want face a catastrophic claim and come up short. For example, if you have $200,000 worth of belongings but only $60,000 worth of personal property coverage, you won’t have all you need to cover your replacements.
Coverage D, loss of use coverage, can be a game-changer when you’ve experienced a catastrophic loss. It can help pay for hotel stays, dining out, groceries, laundry, transportation, and more when a claim has displaced you and your family. It’s a way to maintain some comforts of your normal life while we work hard to get the rest back in order.
A note about federal aid
Federal aid often exceeds billions of dollars after a major catastrophe. After Hurricane Michael, FEMA and other federal programs paid out nearly $1.9 billion in aid. But don’t expect to get your house rebuilt on FEMA aid. Not only is aid slow to roll out, but it’s usually limited to small amounts to help people get back on their feet – not rebuild everything from the ground up.
When you have the right insurance in place, you won’t need to rely on FEMA or government aid to rebuild and regroup. You will have the money to rebuild your home, replace your personal belongings, and money to live somewhere while all that happens.