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MAPFRE | Commerce Insurance

What if my home has sustained severe damage and I need immediate help?

Please take the appropriate steps to protect your property from further damage. Keep all receipts of costs incurred as a result of any temporary repairs. If possible, photograph the damaged areas before the temporary repairs are made. Photographing, making an inventory of and keeping damaged property for inspection will help in expediting your claim. In most cases, you will be reimbursed for reasonable temporary repair costs for damages that your policy covers you for.

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Following a natural disaster, unfamiliar contractors are going from door to door offering their services for clean up and repairs. How do I know if they are honest and reputable?

While the majority of the businesses are honest and reputable, some are not. We suggest the following helpful hints to avoid a potentially difficult situation down the road:

  • If possible, use contractors that are familiar to you.
  • Always ask for references from previous customers and local suppliers. Be sure to check the references out!
  • If possible, get more than one estimate. Never be pushed into signing a contract on the spot.
  • Get all agreements in writing, i.e. work to be performed, costs, time schedules, guarantees, payment schedules and any other expectations. Never sign a blank contract.
  • Never pay a contractor in full, or sign a contract of satisfaction until the work is completed.

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As a result of a windstorm, I have fallen tree debris. Is this covered?

If a tree damages a structure covered under the policy, there is a $500 limit for debris removal. However, this is the most that is paid regardless of the number of fallen trees and it is subject to your chosen deductible. There are certain endorsements that provide additional coverage to include removal of trees from landscaped areas of the covered property. This coverage is not extended to trees which fall on property owned by others. With this endorsement, if your neighbor's tree falls onto your property, there is coverage if the tree damaged a structure covered under your policy.

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My food has spoiled due to a power outage, do I have coverage under my homeowners policy?

When the power outage was a result of an event that takes place on your property, there is coverage up to the actual cash value of the food and subject to your chosen deductible. An example would be if the electrical service was torn from your house. It would not include spoilage due to a power outage off your property, for example, the whole street or town is blacked out. However, if you have a certain endorsement to your homeowners policy, food spoilage due to a power outage off your property would be covered up to $500 and not subject to a deductible.

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My home is not fit to live in, will my policy cover me for temporary shelter?

If the loss that rendered your home unfit to live in is covered under your policy, we cover the increased living costs to stay in temporary living arrangements. Additional living expenses are for situations such as a loss to your home as a result of a windstorm, lightning or fire which render the home not able to be lived in. Additional living expenses are not available for situations such as a power outage on your street or in your town. If your policy covers you for additional living expenses, we will help coordinate the arrangements for you.

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I have had water damage to my home and/or personal property, is this covered?

Damage as a result of water entering the structure from a covered loss such as lightning, windstorm, or the weight of ice, snow or sleet would be covered. Water damage to a building or personal property caused by a flood, surface or ground water or back up of sewers or drains is not covered. This would include water that seeps through the foundation and floods the basement. Additionally, water which backs up into the insured's home as a result of a full drain or sewer is not covered.

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