The latest projections from many weather experts indicate that the 2020 hurricane season will be a fairly robust one, with four major hurricanes being offered as a rough prediction for how the summer will go. It might be tough preparing for major weather events while a similar, yet totally different situation is unfolding with the COVID-19 pandemic. If anything, it underscores the vital importance of being prepared for anything.
In that spirit, we have provided some key pieces of information so you can be prepared for handling hurricane insurance claims this season.
1. If a major hurricane is forecasted to hit your area, take pictures of your house and your belongings. Make a spreadsheet of all your major possessions, including the description, age, and approximate value of each item. These actions will help your hurricane claim move along more efficiently.
2. Make your claim as soon as possible after your home is damaged. The sooner you bring it to the attention of your insurance company, the quicker the process can start. Also, swift action can signal the seriousness of your home’s damage. The homes with the greatest amount of damage should be bumped to the front of the line when insurance companies begin evaluating claims.
3. You can – and should – hire your own public adjuster so you can have an accurate, neutral opinion on the value of your claim and estimated damage. Hiring your own adjuster is a good idea if your insurance company seems to be dragging its feet. Be sure to seek out one who has experience and has a business address listed, as many unlicensed adjusters will come out of the woodwork after a major weather event to prey on unsuspecting victims.
4. After your home experiences damage, you are expected to take reasonable steps to mitigate further damage to your property. For instance, you would be expected to make minor roof repairs before the next round of rain to avoid further damage. Your obligation to mitigate does not mean that you are not able to be compensated for your work, though. In case you are eligible for reimbursements, keep all your receipts for tools and materials and take before-and-after pictures.
5. If you are not able to live in your home after a major hurricane, your insurance company should provide you with funds for reasonable accommodations up to one year. Try your best to keep up with all of your expenses during this time, though, including hotel costs, food expenses, etc.
It is vital to be armed with information before disaster strikes. If, after your home is damaged and you submit a claim, your insurance company seems to be treating you unfairly, give The Monfison Firm, P.A. a call at 888-988-FIRM. We offer free consultations to prospective clients.