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How Long After a Storm Can I File a Claim?

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When storms strike, the trail of damage left in their wake often leads to frustration and anxiety for homeowners. One of the biggest questions facing many claimants is when to file.

Storms can leave you picking up the pieces longer than expected, with little time and energy left to worry about filing an insurance claim. By hiring an experienced storm damage claim lawyer you can take the burden of filing off your shoulders so you can focus on rebuilding.

Storm damage attorneys, like those at Insurance Claim HQ, know the when and how of filing insurance claims and are here to help you. Experienced attorneys can help you avoid common mistakes and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

In this article, we will cover how deadlines and time can affect your claim’s chances, what evidence can help strengthen your claim, and why a storm damage claim lawyer can help you and your loved one’s file stress-free.

Related: What to Do After Storm Damage: A Practical Guide

How Filing Deadlines Affect Your Insurance Claim

The rule of thumb when it comes to filing property damage insurance claims is that sooner is always better. If you file as soon as you can, there is less your homeowner insurance can do to try and unfairly deny your claim. However, the unfortunate reality is that storms don’t always make it easy to file. Damage can come in waves and leave you missing out if you file too early.

If you are unable to file right after a storm hits, your filing deadline will depend on what state you live in and your insurance policy. For example, in Louisiana, there is a 180-day filing deadline for storm claims. However, even this can change depending on the severity of the storm and any governmental changes, such as mandatory evacuations.

Some damage may also have different levels of insurance coverage or may fall under different timelines. Flood damage is typically completely covered and has different timelines, but requires separate flood insurance that many policyholders don’t have until it’s too late.

There are also multiple deadlines that fall before that final deadline that many claimants fail to consider. Claimants must also consider deadlines for:

  • Notifying your insurance of your loss
  • Submitting documentation
  • Filling an appeal

These deadlines can vary depending on your policy, something an experienced attorney can help you understand. Your lawyer can help you sift through the legalese of your insurance coverage to better understand your claim and file correctly and on time.

Related: Roofing Insurance Claims for Storm Damage: What You Need to Know

What Evidence You Need to Keep the Insurance Adjuster Honest

The sad truth of homeowners insurance is that many insurance companies will do anything they can to prevent you from getting paid. They are a business, and their top priority is protecting their bottom line. This means that you need to be as prepared as possible to fight back against any unfair reasons they may use to deny your claim.

To protect your claim, you need to gather as much reliable evidence as you can. The more evidence you have, the less likely your insurance company is to deny your claim. Make sure you collect the following whenever possible:

  • Photos and videos of damage from all angles.
  • A detailed list of all damaged or missing items, along with estimated values. If possible, also provide receipts and photos of these items in their pre-damaged state.
  • Any estimates for repair from public adjusters or independent contractors.
  • All communications regarding your damage, with times and dates.
  • A printed copy of your original insurance policy.
  • Any bills or statements connected to emergency repairs for your damage or additional living expenses.

If you are unsure where to get estimates or what evidence is best to file, consider calling an experienced storm damage lawyer. A lawyer will help you gather and analyze evidence, hire trusted independent contractors, and help you evaluate your claim.

Related: What Photos Are Needed for My Storm Claim?

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help You Through the Claims Process

Filing insurance claims can be a headache, and it’s the last thing you should be dealing with after a storm hits. By hiring an experienced storm damage attorney, you can take the burden off your shoulders and focus on getting back to normal.

Experienced attorneys know the common pitfalls that come with property damage claims and can help ensure you don’t make preventable mistakes when you file an insurance claim. They can also take over the frustrating, difficult, and technical aspects of the claims process, such as gathering evidence, analyzing your homeowner’s insurance policy, negotiating directly with the insurance agent, and if necessary, filing a lawsuit on your behalf if your insurance company unfairly denies your claim or refuses to make a fair settlement offer.

Insurance Claim HQ: Holding the Insurance Company Accountable for Your Storm Damage Claim

At Insurance Claim HQ, our law firm knows the hardships that storm damage can cause you and your loved ones. That’s why we fight to make sure you get the best compensation possible for your insurance claim. Our attorneys work hard to hold insurance companies accountable and fight back against unfair claim denials, lowball settlements, and insurance bad faith.

If you or a loved one have suffered storm damage to your property and believe you have a claim, call Insurance Claim HQ or contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

References

Louisiana Department of Insurance. (2021, February 12). Deadlines for Louisiana Policyholders to File Proof of Loss for Hurricane Claims Fast Approaching [press release]. https://www.ldi.la.gov/news/press-releases/2-12-21-deadlines-for-la-policyholders-to-file-proof-of-loss-for-hurricane-claims-fast-approaching

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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