Suffering home damage in a hurricane is an extremely significant event. It can interrupt your living situation, your ability to work, and your peace of mind. You need to file an insurance claim right away – How do you ensure you get it right?
You can do things to make the process smoother, faster, and more transparent. As a team of attorneys dedicated to handling property-casualty insurance claims, we see the mistakes people make in hurricane insurance claims.
Our attorneys share essential tips for filing an insurance claim right after a hurricane.
8 Important Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim Right After a Hurricane
1. Contact your insurer right away
When you have hurricane damage, contact the insurance company as soon as possible. They have many claims to process, and you want to get your place in line when it comes to processing your claim. Plus, reporting damages promptly minimizes the chances that the insurance company will question the cause of the damage or try to deny payment because the damage wasn’t reported.
2. Make sure the insurance company has your contact information
Suffering damage from a hurricane throws your life into disarray. It’s common for addresses and phone numbers to change in the aftermath, even multiple times. To process your claim, the insurance company needs to be able to get a hold of you. Ensure the insurance company has your latest contact information, including your current phone and address. Update the information immediately whenever it changes.
3. Document your losses
Any insurance claim is based on documented losses. The best time to start documenting losses is right away, while the losses are still fresh in your mind. To document your losses, take photographs, and make lists. Write down the item that is damaged, when you purchased it, the approximate value and how it is damaged. Make sure that the lighting is good in your photos. As you incur expenses, save receipts and detailed records of what each expense is for.
4. Don’t discard items just yet
It can be tempting to clean up the damage as soon as possible. It’s reasonable to want life to get back to normal. However, the insurer may want to inspect items. If you remove items too quickly, the insurance company might say there’s no evidence of your losses.
Check with the insurer before proceeding. If a government authority wants items removed, document what you are removing as well as the requirement that you remove the items.
5. Do mitigate damages
If there are ways to prevent additional damage after a hurricane, take those steps as you file your claim. Don’t start permanent repairs just yet until you have approval. However, take care of temporary things like putting up tarps or patching up windows.
As you make your insurance claim, take reasonable steps to prevent additional harm. Move personal property to higher areas if there is a flood risk. If the property is at risk of flooding, sandbags may help shore up your home.
6. Learn about your policy
As you make your insurance claim, it’s time to learn about what’s covered. Your insurance policy will pay damages for covered losses. Not all policies are created equally. By learning about your policy, you know what to expect and what evidence to gather to prove your covered losses.
7. Pursue your claim
Keep a record of contact as you proceed through the insurance claim. Each time you speak to a representative of the insurance company, write down their name, their role in the company, what you talk about, and any next steps. Track the dates and times of all contacts. Don’t be afraid to call for follow-up information and status updates. Staying organized can make your claim faster, more precise, and more complete.
8. Know your rights
As you pursue an insurance claim right after a hurricane, it can be tempting to want the case resolved immediately. Remember, you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. If the insurance company isn’t fairly paying damages, there are things you can do to challenge their decisions and pursue justice.
Lawyers for Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims
At Insurance Claim HQ, we hold insurance companies accountable. Everything we do focuses on maximizing your recovery and fighting for your rights.
Have you experienced loss from a hurricane? Do you need help fighting for justice from the insurance company? We are dedicated to delivering top-notch representation, striving to ensure that you have a smooth and transparent experience in the legal system.
We are taking new cases right now. Contact us today to see how we can help you.