Make sure you take the necessary precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Before a Hurricane Hits
Get to Safety
Make sure you and your loved ones get to a safe location before the hurricane comes. Taking precautions like boarding up windows can help prevent damage to your property.
Having an active homeowner’s insurance policy in place can play important role in helping recover compensation for your property damage. Check to make sure your policy is active.
If you have a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, it may not cover flood damage. Sometimes after a hurricane, an insurance company may try to show the damage to your property was caused by flooding and not hurricane winds. They may try to avoid compensating you for all the damage. Adding a flood insurance policy may be a useful way to make your potential claim stronger.
Make a video or take photos in which you show your property’s condition and show the valuables in your home. It is important to store your photo and video proof in cloud storage so that it is remotely accessible. This will also help make sure it’s not destroyed in the event of a hurricane.
After a Hurricane Causes Damage
Photos & Video
Once the hurricane has passed and it’s safe to return to your property, take a new photos & videos of all the damage that has occurred. These new photos and videos showing the damage can be compared with photos and videos taken before the hurricane hit. This can be a valuable tool in helping to record damages that were caused by the hurricane.
Protect Your Property
Check the “Duties After Loss” section of your insurance policy. You may be responsible for taking certain actions after a hurricane like covering your roof damage with a tarp. If you don’t take the actions your policy requires the insurance company may try to say that some of the damage happened after the storm and it is your fault. They may then try to deny or reduce the amount of compensation they offer you.
File a Claim
It’s a good idea to file a claim right away with your insurance company. Some insurance companies have a very short window of time to file a claim. Document all your communications with the insurance company. Hurricane damage can lead to disagreements between homeowners and insurers, particularly when there’s a combination of flood and wind damage.
How A Hurricane Insurance Lawyer May Help with Your Claim
In most cases after a hurricane causes property damage, your insurance company will want to pay you as little as possible. Insurance companies often do three things to prevent you from getting what you’re legally owed.
Insurance companies will often try to reduce the value of your claim. They may say things like: “That was already damaged.” or “We don’t think it’s worth that much.” A good hurricane damage lawyer can help you work through the tactics and objections insurance companies use to pay you less than you are legally owed.
After a hurricane, an insurance company may give you the run-around. They may ask you for the same document over and over again. They may not return your calls or emails for weeks at a time. They may generally seem like they are dragging their feet and moving slowly on purpose. They may be. By making the process take a very long time it keeps the compensation you’re owed out of your pocket. The Jeffcoat Firm works to help see that justice is served as quickly as possible. A good lawyer knows the insurance companies’ tricks and can help get past the nonsense.
Sometimes insurance companies completely deny a hurricane damage claim. They may tell you, “We’re not going to pay you anything.” You could be left dealing with a destroyed home and no way to pay for repairs.
We see this happen far too often. Having a lawyer on your side can help keep the insurance company honest and can give you the best chance of getting everything the law says you deserve.
Hurricane Insurance Claim Help
If you have had your home damaged because of a hurricane, we can help you file a claim and work to get you all the compensation you’re legally entitled to. If you’ve already started a claim and the insurance company isn’t acting right, call us at (803) 200-2000 for a free consultation today to see if we can help.