Homeowner insurance payouts for damages will vary based on a wide range of factors, such as the severity of a disaster and how many people were affected and are making claims.
According to a recent Consumer Reports study, after Hurricane Katrina, people in Louisiana and Mississippi reported payouts averaging $15,000. This is three times the amount reported by people in other areas such as Oklahoma and Arkansas. However, due to the extensive damage the hurricane caused, roughly one quarter of respondents in areas affected by the hurricane said they did not receive enough to fully cover damages. Nationwide, only 11% of homeowners felt that the settlements they received after making a claim was inadequate.
There are a number of things you can do to increase the payout you can expect. First, consider whether the damage is expensive enough to warrant filing a claim, since even small claims can increase your insurance costs. If there is enough damage for a claim, file one as soon as possible. Recommended strategies to get the best payout include keeping a home inventory, keeping receipts for emergency repairs, and negotiating with your adjuster for the best payout. Additionally, you can help ensure that your payout will be adequate by carrying a policy with high enough coverage and a low enough deductible to compensate for your loss in the unfortunate event of a disaster.