Taking photos of your home before a hurricane can speed up the claim process

Taking photos of your home before a hurricane can speed up the claim process

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Besides installing hurricane clips and using plywood to reinforce windows, insurance experts also recommend using cameras or cell phones for last-minute hurricane preparations.

"You need to walk around your entire exterior of your home, front yard, side yard and take as many photos as you possibly can," said Stephen Hadhazi, a public insurance adjuster.

"Your roof shingles, you want to take good pictures of your roof shingles so you can show exactly what it looked like before the storm. You want to take good close up photos of your siding."

As a public insurance adjuster, Hadhazi represents consumers not insurance companies.

He said that even though a homeowner may suffer wind or water damage from a hurricane, some insurer's won't automatically pay.

He said they often want the owner to prove the damage wasn't there before the hurricane hit.

"If you're able to show the insurance company that this is what it looked like the day before the storm, then your claim is going to get settled a whole lot faster," he said.

Hadhazi said homeowners also need to photograph the interior of their house before and after any storm damage.

"Things made of wood, things made of particle board, things that can swell up. You want to show that the damage was done by the hurricane and that it wasn't done before," he said.

Hadhazi estimated that if homeowners are able document the hurricane damage with photos or video, most reputable insurers will pay the full claim 90 percent of the time.

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