Hurricane Florence Insurance Claims Tips for Self-Directed IRA Owners
If your Self-Directed IRA property has been damaged by Hurricane Florence, you will probably be filing an insurance claim shortly. Here’s what you need to know.
- Do not enter damaged buildings until they are cleared. Buildings with structural damage or standing water and live electricity can be dangerous. If there is any doubt, have a qualified architect or engineer inspect your Self-Directed IRA investment property before entering or letting others enter the building.
- Stay away from downed powerlines. They are potentially deadly. It is not unusual in the aftermath of any storm for individuals to electrocute themselves trying to pick up downed powerlines and move them out of the way.
- Keep generators outdoors. Spread the word to your Self-Directed IRA tenants: Operating generators indoors leads to potentially lethal carbon monoxide buildup. Use generators outdoors.
- Keep personal and Self-Directed IRA funds separate. Avoid the temptation to purchase repair supplies or pay contractors with your personal funds. Doing so may result in you committing a prohibited transaction and endangering the tax-advantages of the Self-Directed IRA
Please contact us at 866-7500-IRA (472) if we can assist you in any way.
- Keep all receipts. Keep receipts for lodging, food and gas expenses you incur because of Hurricane Florence. Have tenants keep receipts for lodging, food and gas. These may be reimbursable expenses, depending on your insurance.
- Keep track of lost rent. If you lose rental income from your Self-Directed IRA property, keep track of that, too. Your lost rental income may be reimbursable on your landlord’s insurance policy.
- Protect your Self-Directed IRA property from further damage. You and your tenants have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect your Self-Directed IRA property from further damage from rain, mildew, mold, thieves, looters and vandals. Keep receipts for tarps, slipcovers, storage and other expenses toward this end, as they may be reimbursable under your Hurricane insurance policy.
- Gather all damaged and destroyed belongings together in one place. This facilitates inspection by adjusters and helps them pay quick and timely claims. Do not throw anything away until the adjuster inspects it, or if emergency officials direct you to.
- Inventory and photograph damaged or destroyed belongings. If your adjuster gives you a lowball settlement, you will need this documentation in order to contest it. Here’s a home inventory checklist from the South Carolina Department of Insurance. You can also use mobile apps like Sortly, Memento Database, and Magic Home Inventory, which allow you to take photographs, attach notes and receipts, etc., and upload the information to the cloud where it is safe from hurricane floodwaters.
- Do not begin permanent repairs. Wait until the damage has been verified by an adjuster and the repair cleared by your insurance company.
For more information on hurricane, flood and homeowners’ insurance specific to North Carolina, Call the N.C. Department of Insurance consumer hotline at 855-408-1212 (toll free). You can also download the NCHurriclaims Toolkit here.
South Carolina residents: Your state has consolidated a list of claims office phone numbers here. North Carolina residents, you can look up your carrier’s contact information by clicking “Company Contact Information” on the left margin of the North Carolina Department of Insurance website.
Georgia residents, if you are having trouble contacting your insurance carrier, your state insurance commissioner Ralph Hudgens has established an insurance customer service hotline at 800‐656‐2298.
From all of us at American IRA, we wish you and your tenants the best of luck. Stay safe.
Interested in learning more about Self-Directed IRAs? Contact American IRA, LLC at 866-7500-IRA (472) for a free consultation. Download our free guides or visit us online at www.AmericanIRA.com.