When a home is destroyed by one natural disaster, it just takes your breath away. When more than one natural disaster destroys your home, piece by piece, you may be wondering how your homeowners insurance will cover it. If you are also wondering how to file the claim, given that more than one co-current disaster is to blame, here is how you can file your claim correctly and efficiently.

Start with the Disaster That Did the Most Damage

If your home sustained damage from a hurricane, and then was finished off by a flood and water damage, lead your claim with whichever one did the most damage. For example, say the hurricane ripped off parts of the roof and damaged the siding, windows and doors. Then the flood and water damage would have destroyed the entire interior of the house and most of your belongings in it. While the damage done by the hurricane is minimal by comparison and could have easily been repaired to restore your home, the flood made your home completely unlivable, so you should file your insurance claim for flood damage.

Provide Information on Other Damages Only If You Can Prove They Were Caused Separately

Since the second disaster just finished the job of the first, all of the damages may be viewed as the result of the second or succeeding disasters. While you could certainly provide your home insurance company with this information, unless you can prove that the first disaster caused "x,y,z" and the second disaster completed the destruction of your home, it really is not necessary to your claim.

The reason for this is that the total loss of your home would be covered anyway, and providing information you cannot prove but only assume just clogs up the claims process. The claims agent or adjuster would want proof of everything you claim as you claimed it happened. If you cannot prove it or get proof, then your claim may get stuck in limbo until it is edited for accuracy.

File Your Initial Claim as Soon as Possible

If you can, file your claim on the loss of your home as soon as you discover it. Since other disasters could occur to damaged property, such as fire or theft (scavengers salvaging any remaining parts of your house or rummaging through the remains to find valuable items), you want to be sure that the initial claim shows the initial losses. You also want your claim to be processed quickly so that you can begin rebuilding and not have to live with extended family, friends or in a hotel. 

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