We can all agree that 2020 was more challenging than years past for most, to say the very least. For those of us who live in Southern Louisiana, 2020 was especially dumbfounding, being the most active Hurricane season to date. Unfortunately, for those living in Cameron and Calcasieu Parish, this Hurricane season has been very catastrophic.
On August 27th of 2020, the fifth strongest storm to ever impact the United States landed near Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm, only 7 mph away from being considered a Category 5. Causing the deaths of at least 42 people, Hurricane Laura managed to wreak over $14 billion in damages in western Louisiana and southeastern Texas, damaging over 400,000 structures.
Six weeks later, on October 9th, 2020, the record-breaking 10th named storm to hit the United States landed in the same area impacted by Hurricane Laura as Category 2 storm. Hurricane Delta caused at least $4 million in additional damage.
With these large storms come large amounts of insurance claims. The aftermath of these storms is, more often than not, more stressful than the storm itself.
Dealing with your insurance company after a storm can be very frustrating. It can feel as though you are being asked to provide the impossible in order to get your claim reconciled. It is important to understand that insurance companies benefit from policyholders who don’t understand what they are entitled to based on their policy.
We will go over what these policies cover and where we see the biggest obstacles for policyholders.
- First, there is no policy for Hurricane Insurance. Instead, you, as the policyholder, must rely on a blend of various coverages. Based on these coverages, your insurance policy can cover you for damages caused by storm surges, hail, wind, flooding, and more. Be aware some deductibles are very high for named storms, hurricanes, or windstorms. This will limit how much money you get in a claim.
Here are the different types of insurance that will cover various damages from a hurricane:
- Homeowner Insurance: A standard homeowners insurance policy covers the structure of your house for disasters such as hurricanes and windstorms, along with a host of other disasters. With this comes the exception of flooding, which must be a separately purchased policy.
- Flood Insurance: This covers flooding, storm surge, and wind-driven water, whereas home insurance does not cover these risks. This policy is available for renters as well.
- Sewer Back-Up: Like your flood policy, sewer back-up is also a separately purchased policy. In the event of a strong storm, your home could develop a sewer back up. Most home insurance policies do not include this. You can request that this be added to your policy if it is not covered.
- Additional Living Expense (ALE) Coverage: This may be the most important part of your policy after a storm. Homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policies include coverage for additional living expenses. Additional living expenses help cover some of your increased costs of living while your home is being rebuilt. Check into your coverage amount and be sure you are comfortable with the amount. Depending on the amount of loss you have, you may need more than standard ALE.
- Contents Coverage: This pays for damage to, or loss of, an individual’s personal possessions – means anything that is not permanently attached to the home’s structure.
We have helped many policyholder residents of Lake Charles, Opelousas, Leesville, etc. who have NOT received the compensation they are owed, including payments needed to fix, replace, and rebuild. These residents are experiencing delays, being denied, and underpaid.
If you or someone you know has been affected by Hurricane Season 2020, call us to discuss your situation and we will explain your options, at no cost to you.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we are a group of attorneys that exclusively handle property casualty insurance claims. We have dedicated our practice to fighting for the rights of policyholders when they experience a loss due to fire, flood, hurricane, or from the insurance company not keeping their word.
Even if you don’t think you are owed additional compensation, we will evaluate your claim during a 15 minute, complimentary call: (844) CLAIM-84.