The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are estimated to cost between $150 billion and $200 billion, according to a CNBC report.
As people try to make their way back to their homes, an influx of flood claims, with more than 100,000 expected be filed in the aftermath of the hurricanes, is expected to slow down the payout process.
While it's vital to be prepared before a storm hits, it's equally important to understand your rights as you begin to rebuild and recover. Insurance claims differ from state to state and understanding your rights will allow you to better plan your next steps.
For instance, in New York, insurance providers have 15 business days to acknowledge that they've received a claim and another 15 days to begin a proof of loss investigation to determine how much damage was done to the home. Whereas, in the state of Florida, the insurer is given 14 days to respond to a claim and then another 30 to begin an investigation.
According to a 2015 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) survey, 60 percent of Americans aren't prepared for these natural disasters of any kind. And only 39 percent have an emergency plan despite the fact that 80 percent live in counties that are vulnerable to extreme weather.
Whether you own or rent, it's imperative that you plan early to ensure that you can quickly and safely return to normalcy. Here, experts offer tips on how to protect yourself and your home before and after natural disasters.