If you're weighing whether to file a home insurance claim related to Hurricane Irene, consumer groups are offering advice on how to go about it. Here are some of the key steps to take.
Although Irene slowed from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it moved up the Atlantic Coast, it still did plenty of damage.
If you're weighing whether to file an insurance claim related to damage to your home, consumer groups are offering advice on how to go about it.
Here are some of the key steps to take, according to the Consumer Federation of America and Consumer Reports.
IN PICTURES: Hurricane Irene
1. Take photos of the damage, and make a list of your possessions.
2. Protect your home from further damage. Throw a tarp over a damaged roof, for example.
3. Remember that in 18 coastal states and the District of Columbia, insurers can impose hurricane deductibles, typically 1 to 5 percent of the insured value of your home. The states are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
4. Note that homeowner policies do not cover flood, earthquake, tree removal (except if a tree damages the house), or food spoiled by a power failure. Some consumers have flood insurance separately from the federal government.