Hurricane Irma is currently forecast to hit the state of Florida this weekend. Areas in South Florida will begin to feel the effects of the storm well in advance. Hurricane Irma has already caused catastrophic damage to islands in the Caribbean, and residents in the entire Southeastern United States should be monitoring this storm closely. While we don’t have confirmation yet on the exact point of landfall at this hour, there is still time to prepare. For the latest hurricane track, head to weather.gov to see the latest updates from the National Weather Service.
Before Hurricane Irma Impacts your Area
Effective hurricane planning saves lives. While it’s important to have enough food, water and other essentials on hand, preparing for evacuation will keep you and your loved ones (including pets!) safe and out of harm’s way. Florida residents can view their evacuation zone here – http://www.floridadisaster.org/.
Your evacuation kit should include cell phone and other device chargers, cash, important documents (especially your homeowners insurance policy information) and other identification which you’ll need to get back into your area once the storm has passed. The full list of items can be found on our Hurricane Planning Checklist page.
If you have time before the storm, invest in deadbolts to strengthen your doors and pull down those hurricane shutters. Bring all loose items inside, clear out your gutters and remove debris around storm drains near your home. If you evacuate, put as much as you can as high as you can, unplug everything and turn off the power before you leave.
After the Storm Passes
The aftermath of a hurricane can create some dangerous conditions outside. Don’t venture out unless you absolutely have to. Downed power lines and unsanitary water are just some of the hazards that are common after a storm. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety has some great tips on their website designed to keep you safe and protect your home from further damage (put a tarp on a damaged roof for instance.) Additional tips can be found on the Ready.gov hurricane page.
Report a Claim
Our Claims Department is available at (855) 415-7120, option #1 for policyholders who need to report a claim as a result of Hurricane Irma. All policyholders should call us as soon as possible after they and their family are safe. Sawgrass Mutual policy owners should call 877-853-4336, option 1 to report a claim. Commercial property policy holders should call 855-439-4719, Option 1.
If you have a claim you should call Heritage directly. Heritage-employed claims professionals are ready to assist and will dispatch adjusters and contactors to your home.
Policyholders may be contacted by third party vendors to do repairs. Please do not contract with any vendor except a vendor approved by Heritage. You can call our customer service number and we will dispatch a reputable, licensed contractor to your home. Non-approved contractors will ask you to sign a form titled “Assignment of Benefits”, do not sign it. If you sign an Assignment of Benefits you will no longer have the right to receive any insurance payments from Heritage and such payments will belong to the contractor. This may result in repairs not being made, theft of insurance payouts, unlivable conditions in your home, and it will complicate, delay, reduce and possibly result in the denial of a claim settlement. Policyholders should not sign any documents without obtaining permission from Heritage.
We hope that our agents and customers stay safe during the storm. Please contact us if you have any questions or if you need any additional information.
Once again, the number to report a claim is (855) 415-7120, option 1.
Sawgrass Mutual policy owners should call 877-853-4336, option 1.
Commercial property policy holders should call 855-439-4719, Option 1.