If you have questions, you may find the answers in a list of catastrophe frequently asked questions we have compiled.
How does a catastrophe claim differ from a regular claim?
Catastrophes impact thousands of customers which increases the claim volume. To deal with this increase Farm Bureau Insurance has a catastrophe plan in place to deploy additional staff to the catastrophe areas and establish the claim center location for the area. If the catastrophe affects a large number of vehicles, the company may organize a drive-in claim center to allow adjusters to efficiently inspect a large number of damaged vehicles.
What should I do if my home is damaged?
- Call 800-799-7500 to report the damage.
- If you can do so safely, protect your home from further damage. In other words, use common sense. If it is not safe for you to climb onto your roof to cover it with a tarp, don’t attempt to do so.
- Take pictures of the debris and destroyed items before having them removed. Also, make sure to take a picture of any damage before repairing it.
- Keep all receipts for materials used to make temporary repairs and provide that information to the adjuster who handles your claim.
- Begin to take an inventory of damaged property so that you can share that with the adjuster when he/she arrives.
- Before hiring a contractor to do any work, make sure it is a reputable business.
Who do I report a claim to if wind is excluded from my Farm Bureau Insurance policy?
If wind is excluded from your Farm Bureau Insurance policy and you purchased coverage through South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association, please contact your Farm Bureau Insurance agent to file a claim for you. South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association does not have the capability to accept loss notices via the Internet, so contacting your agent is the fastest and easiest way.
How long will it take to receive help once I report the claim?
Depending on the severity of the storm, our adjusters may have to wait for law enforcement and emergency management officials to allow them to enter affected areas. Once they are allowed to enter, claims will be categorized by severity. Our adjusters are very experienced in dealing with storm related claims and will work as quickly as possible to assist policyholders.
Will my policy pay for temporary housing or clean-up costs?
Most policies cover costs for temporary housing and other reasonable expenses necessary to maintain your normal standard of living if your home is uninhabitable and the damage is caused by a peril covered by your policy. Additional living expenses are paid based on when the loss occurred not when the policyholder evacuated. Most policies also cover expenses for the removal of debris. Please see your declarations page to determine what coverage is in force for your property.
Will the contents of my home be covered if damaged by a hurricane?
Your homeowner's policy includes contents coverage up to a specific limit, which is usually 50 percent of the coverage on the structure itself. For example, if your home is insured for $100,000 you will have $50,000 in contents coverage. However, contents coverage amounts can vary based on the amount you and your agent selected. Please see your declarations page of your policy for the exact coverage amount. Remember, if the contents of your home are damaged due to flooding this is specifically excluded from homeowner's policies. You must have a separate flood insurance policy in addition to your homeowner's policy. It is also important to remember that flood insurance policies do not automatically provide contents coverage. Consumers must specifically request it at time of purchase. There is a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance policies to take effect.
If my car is damaged, will that be covered?
If you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto policy, it will cover losses due to a catastrophic storm including rain, wind and hail.
How can I avoid becoming a victim of a scam after a severe storm?
Homeowners who think they have property damage are encouraged to contact Farm Bureau Insurance as soon as possible to begin the claims process and use care in selecting a contractor. No one should be pressured into signing a contract with a particular company. As with any repair, you have the right to choose who makes your repairs and when they are made. Below are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of a scam after a severe storm:
- Take your time in choosing a contractor. Contact more than one company and get written estimates for the proposed job.
- Make temporary repairs yourself if possible. Keep receipts for materials purchased to file with your claims adjuster. Beware of contractors who encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs.
- Investigate the performance of any contractor you consider hiring. Ask for references and check them. The Better Business Bureau is another good resource.
- Never give a deposit until you have checked the company thoroughly and have a written contract. Beware of contractors who ask for a lot of money upfront.
- Do not allow a contractor to inspect your property unless you requested it.
- Talk to Farm Bureau Insurance yourself about the damage claim. A contractor cannot speak on behalf of Farm Bureau Insurance or the details of your policy.
How should I select a contractor?
Below are a few suggestions to help you select a reliable contractor:
- Ask your family members or friends for the name of anyone who recently completed satisfactory repair work for them.
- Get the contractor to give you references and make sure to check them.
- Check with the local Better Business Bureau for information about the contractor’s work history.
- Before signing any contracts make sure you discuss any payment terms with the contractor.
What is a deductible?
In addition to the flat deductible, homeowners who live near the coast will also have either a Wind or Hail Percentage Deductible (EN312) or a Named Storm Deductible (EN313), unless wind coverage has been excluded from the Farm Bureau Insurance policy. These deductibles are added to the policy as endorsements and apply to losses caused by wind or hail. For property located inland, Farm Bureau Insurance may require a Wind or Hail Percentage Deductible based on the age and condition of the roof.
The Wind or Hail Percentage Deductible (EN312) applies to all losses caused by wind or hail. Percentage deducible options include 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 percent.
A Named Storm Wind Deductible (EN313) only applies to wind and hail losses caused by a named storm which is a tropical storm or hurricane as named by the National Weather Service. Deductible options for the Named Storm Deductible include 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 percent. The deductible is the amount of money that you agree to pay per claim or per accident. This amount is subtracted from the total amount paid by your insurer. For example: if you file a claim for $500 and your deductible is $100, you pay $100 and your insurance company will pay $400. The higher the deductible, the lower your payment will be for the policy, but the more you will have to pay out of your pocket if you file a claim.
Who do I pay for my deductible?
Farm Bureau Insurance will subtract the deductible from the estimate to repair or replace covered damage. The amount paid to you will be the total estimate less the deductible and any applicable depreciation.
What is actual cash value?
Actual cash value of property is calculated based on what it would cost to replace the property today with materials of like kind and quality and then subtracting an amount that reflects depreciation (a loss in value as an item ages) and economic obsolescence.
When will I receive my settlement check from Farm Bureau Insurance?
In some cases, the adjuster will complete the estimate at the time of inspection and provide you with both the estimate and the check so you can quickly begin the repair process. However, in most instances the adjuster inspects the damage, prepares a repair estimate, and once we have approved and processed the estimate, we will mail a check and the estimate to you separately.
Why does my claim check from Farm Bureau Insurance include the name of my mortgage holder?
If you have a loan on your home, we are obligated to protect the mortgagee named in your homeowner’s policy. Please verify the mortgagee is correct on your policy. If it is not correct, please bring documentation such as your monthly bill to support the changing the mortgagee’s name. Since every bank has different rules, you will need to contact your mortgagee to find out how to obtain their endorsement on the check.