WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Damages after Sandy is significant. Property damage is being estimated at up to $20 billion. Half of that is expected to be covered by insurance. So it's time to take stock of your damage and figure out if it's worth it to file a claim.
First, know what your deductible is. Usually they are between $500 to $1,000, depending on your policy. Also know that claims are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have a lot of damage, you need to act fast. Otherwise, it could be weeks before you get a check.
Here's the paper trail you need to keep:
- Save receipts for all of your expenditures.
- If you need to stay in a hotel, then keep those receipts.
- Homeowners insurance policies generally cover the cost of additional living expenses if you can't live in your home.
- Take photos of the damage -- including lost food from your refrigerator.
- Keep every damaged item, until the insurance adjuster has visited.
Most homeowners insurance policies exclude flood damage. Flood coverage is sold through specialized policies so don't assume your flooded basement is covered. If your car got damaged due to rain and flooding getting in, then you probably need a "comprehensive" insurance policy to cover those damages.