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Tips for Making a Claim for a Hurricane Loss

Following are some tips to assist you in claiming a benefit under your insurance policy:

  • Contact your agent as quickly as possible. If you are unable to contact your agent but know which company they placed your insurance with, then contact the company. Confirm the phone number for your agent/insurer beforehand and keep it handy for use in the event you have a loss.
  • Although your agent should have a copy of your insurance policy, please find your copy of the policy and read it.
  • Tell your agent if you’re in an emergency situation.
  • In The Bahamas, flooding caused by a hurricane is included as part of your hurricane cover.
  • Policies usually pay for temporary repairs to protect your home from further damage and either the actual value or the replacement value of the damaged property.
  • Many policies will also pay for removing building debris so repairs can be made, but they will not pay for clearing landscaping and garden debris.
  • Unless instructed otherwise by your insurer, only make repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your home or business. Don’t make permanent repairs without consulting them first.
  • An insurance adjuster or a representative of the insurance company will visit your home or business. With the number of claims being presented, this may not take place immediately.
  • Please appreciate that your insurer has engaged the assistance of qualified and capable adjusters and they are
  • presently working 24/7 to meet this extraordinary demand. It is our hope that you will be contacted by an adjuster as quickly as possible following your initial contact with your insurer or agent but if this does not occur, please contact your insurer. Please be certain that you have provided a contact number that can be answered at all times.
  • Before the adjuster arrives, prepare a list of all damaged and destroyed property. The list should include:
    • a description of the item
    • date of purchase
    • cost at time of purchase
    • present replacement cost

(If you have cancelled cheques or receipts for these items, collect them to show the adjuster)

  • It is a good idea to take photographs or videos of the damaged areas.

  • If possible, get a detailed estimate for repairs.

  • Keep all receipts for all work done on your home or property.

  • The exaggeration or inflation of your claim could make you liable for fraud and will only lead to delays whilst the insurer waits for the appointed adjuster to work out the true cost of having the work done.

  • If you are applying for financial support or exemptions from the Government and/or National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), you will be required to disclose details of your insurance coverage and all insurance settlements.

  • You might get more than one cheque from your insurers, as some policies will allow part payment of claims, with a later cheque once the full repairs costs have been agreed or carried out.

If you encounter any difficulty with your claim being settled, ask to speak with the management of your agent/insurer. Only after you have exhausted all means of appeal with your agent/insurer should you consider contacting the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas for their assistance. Failure to exhaust your agents/insurers complaints process will result in the Insurance Commission referring you back to your agent/insurer.