Ian just flooded your SC home, now what? Follow these insurance claim tips

Orange County Fire Rescue's Public Information Office/AP

Just because you have flood insurance doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get everything out of it when the time comes.

Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm after wrecking parts of southwest Florida, but is expected to reach near hurricane-level strength again when it reaches South Carolina — bringing with it heavy rain and potential flooding on Friday and Saturday.

Having proper flood insurance is great, but that’s still just a start. There are steps homeowners can and should take to get the most out of their insurance and as quickly as possible.

Here are tips on filing flood insurance claims, according to the South Carolina Department of Insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Homeowner’s Insurance is not flood insurance

Homeowner’s insurance typically doesn’t cover flood damage from water that enters a home by street flooding, an overflow of a creek or river or from storm surge.

Immediately after flood

  • Call your agent or insurance company and have the following information with you when you call:

  1. The name of your insurance company (your agent may write policies for more than one company)

  2. Your policy number

  3. A telephone/email address where you can be reached

  • When you file your claim, ask for an appropriate time frame for when an adjustor can be expected to visit your home so you can plan accordingly.

After reporting your loss

  • An adjuster will work with you to calculate the value of damage and will prepare a repair estimate.

  • Keep your agent advised of any contact information changes.

Before the adjustor arrives

  • Take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. Your adjustor will need evidence of the damage and damaged items to prepare your estimate.

  • Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their age and value if possible. Also have receipts for those items available if possible.

  • If you have damage estimates from a contractor, provide those to the adjustor.

  • Contact your insurance company if an adjustor has not been assigned to you within several days.