Many policyholders throughout the US are dealing for the first time with insurance claims resulting from Hurricane Harvey (which battered Texas, Louisiana and the US Gulf Coast in late-August), Hurricane Irma (which slammed Puerto Rico and Florida in mid-September) and Hurricane Maria (which plowed through the Caribbean and Puerto Rico in late September).

How should home and business owners manage the property damage insurance claims resulting from this onslaught of hurricane activity? Globe Midwest Adjusters International’s President & CEO Bobby Levin was recently interviewed by CBS Radio’s Sunday Edition about this important and timely topic.

When asked by the show’s host, Alisa Zee how owners of businesses and homes throughout the United States should handle the unique challenges they may face when filing hurricane claims, Levin suggests that they take several important steps including hiring a public adjuster to act as their advocate throughout the claims process.

“As a public adjuster, what we realize is that people have no idea what they’re entitled to. They have no assessment ability. What doesn’t look all that bad could be extensively damaged but the damage is not immediately noticeable. We are the property owner’s advocate. We understand the policy, we interpret the coverage. We do what you would do as the property owner if you knew what to do. You said, ‘You know what you know,’ and my response is, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know,” and there’s a lot that a property owner doesn’t know [about the insurance claims process]. Whether it’s a homeowner or a major public company or a government — it runs the gamut but they all don’t know what they’re entitled to.” – Bobby Levin, President & CEO, Globe Midwest Adjusters International

Levin also notes that it is important to pay attention to deductibles and to take steps whenever possible to counteract exclusions within the policy.

“I would tell you that an insurance policy is probably the most important document that anybody ever signs. It’s purchased to protect your assets that you’ve worked your entire life for yet it’s the least read. It’s certainly the least understood,” said Levin. “Until you need it, you don’t necessarily know what’s in it. Even if you do read it, you won’t truly understand what it is because of exclusions within the policy. Deductibles are especially important with what we’ve seen in Texas and other states. They’re a critical component with hurricane claims because they’re different than just basic deductibles.”