To claim, or not to claim? That is the question… Despite what you might think, it’s always the right answer to submit a claim, regardless of the status of your hurricane deductible. We’ll walk you through the “how” and “why” it’s in your best interest.

Submit your claim – your rates will not increase

If you think it sounds too good to be true, read on. Regardless of whether your claim meets your hurricane deductible or not, if you submit you will not receive an increase in your rates. We'll explain why you would submit something below your hurricane deductible shortly. In the meantime, it’s worth repeating --  submit your claim without fear of a rate hike.

Let’s break down how it works. In terms of your homeowners’ policy, a hurricane is considered an “Act of God.” That’s defined as an accident, or event resulting from natural causes, without human intervention. Essentially, it’s a situation that could not have been prevented by reasonable foresight or care. At Security First Insurance we never increase our customers’ rates after “Acts of God.” We have invested heavily in insurance to cover our own expenses during times of natural disaster. It’s simply sound business practice, and it allows us to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated if our homes were damaged through no fault of our own.

Our customers average approximately $5,000 out-of-pocket to cover claims. This is their hurricane deductible, which can be found on the first page of their policy. The formula is usually 2% of “Coverage A” which translates to what it would cost to rebuild a $250,000 home. Of course each policy is unique and may have special provisions that do not cover certain things, such as your fence or spoiled food resulting from power outages from a storm.

Timing is everything

If you have damage that currently falls below the threshold covered by your hurricane deductible it’s still a good idea to submit a claim. You bought insurance to cover you for many potential problems you may encounter. You can’t control what the future may hold. However, you can allow the damage you currently need to repair to be "banked" toward your hurricane deductible for a calendar year should there be multiple named storms.

Tax deductions?

Also keep in mind that the costs of repairs to your home in the wake of the storm in some instances can be tax-deductible. Be sure to consult your tax professional to confirm your specific circumstances.

Filing a claim is easier than ever. Simply use any of the following:

877-581-4862: 24-hour Call Center and Claims Hotline Online Policyholder Service Center
Security First Mobile: free apps for Android and iPhone devices

Policyholders with a flood policy through Security First Insurance’s partnership with Wright Flood can report a claim at 800-725-9472.

After Filing a Claim

After you’ve submitted your claim, it’s on to the repair work. Unfortunately, insurance fraud increases significantly after a major disaster. As you seek out professionals to repair your home, it’s important that you refrain from signing over rights to your claims, especially to contractors who arrive at your door unannounced and make promises to take over the entire claim process. That’s a red flag. The misuse of an Assignment of Benefits agreement by contractors is a very real threat. To help combat this we have a team of professionals on call to help homeowners restore their homes by hiring qualified, vetted professionals. Learn more about Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Also be sure to download a free guide containing important information on how to research and hire a contractor,

Our goal is to help return your family to the life you enjoyed before the storm. We know neighbors are out there helping each other, and we're proud to be Floridians. Use our comments section below and post a good deed. It helps us all to focus on the positive in the wake of a storm.