Hurricanes are some of the most damaging natural occurrences in the world. Hurricanes destroy trees, damage infrastructure and compromise the structural integrity of houses. Recently, the entire country watched breathlessly as two hurricanes came dangerously close to colliding with one another as they approached the Gulf Coast. While they didn’t merge into one storm, a single hurricane can do plenty of damage on its own.

As a homeowner, you may incur thousands of dollars in damage to your home as a result of a hurricane. Common issues include damage to the roof, broken windows, structural damage caused by down trees and even flooding. If your property has suffered damage in a hurricane or similar storm, you are most likely going to need insurance to help you correct the issues the storm caused.

Do you have separate hurricane coverage?

Determining how to file the claim is often the first step for those dealing with hurricane damage. You may have a completely separate policy for hurricane damage, meaning that your homeowner’s insurance won’t provide the primary coverage. Even if it’s all one policy, hurricane damage claims could have a higher deductible than other claims.

Regardless of what company and policy extends protection to you in this situation, reviewing the policy before you reach out to the company is usually wise. Figure out what your deductible is and what process is necessary for compensation. In some cases, you may need to get quotes from professionals before the company will finalize your claim. Other times, the company will reimburse you for the costs you incur after you make repairs.

What happens if the insurance company denies or delays your claim?

Hurricanes can create a difficult time for homeowners. They usually hit insurance companies hard too. After all, these businesses only make money when the policies they write pay more in premiums than they collect through claims.

Some insurance companies may try to avoid paying out on valid claims clearly covered under an existing policy. They may offer ridiculously low compensation or might just delay responding to a homeowner for weeks or months, resulting in the policyholder eventually giving up.

If your insurance company hasn’t responded to you, denies your claim or offered an unacceptably low payout, you may need help negotiating with them or possibly taking them to court to compel them to uphold your policy.