During hurricane season, your property is at greater risk of severe damage—something you expect your homeowners insurance to cover. However, the reality is that your insurance company will do whatever they can to avoid paying your claim. This makes understanding how to prepare and strengthen your hurricane damage claim even more important.
The insurance claim process is designed to confuse and frustrate claimants who are only looking for the help they need. But by hiring an experienced hurricane damage attorney, you can get the help you need to navigate this process, build a strong claim, and get the full compensation you deserve from the homeowners insurance company.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we’ve been fighting for victims of hurricane damage for years, and we work hard to make sure claimants get the help they deserve. In this article, we highlight a few of the main steps to follow to prepare for a hurricane damage claim, including reviewing your insurance policy, documenting your belongings, and gathering important supplies.
Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
When filing a hurricane damage claim, your greatest asset is your insurance policy. Understanding the rules, obligations, and benefits of your homeowners policy will help you to fight back against any unfair denials or falsehoods from your insurance company.
To begin, make sure you have an up-to-date copy of your insurance policy at your disposal, preferably a hard copy. Having access to the latest copy of your policy will give you insight as to what is covered by your policy and what is not. Your policy will inform your decision to file a claim and is valuable when speaking to an attorney about your opportunities for compensation.
Be sure to review your policy closely so you can answer some important questions about the extent and details of your coverage. Every policy is different, so it’s important to know the answers to some common questions, such as:
- What are my coverage limits?
- What is covered by my insurance?
- What isn’t covered by my insurance?
- What’s my deductible?
Having quick access to the information needed to answer these questions can be the difference between getting your claim approved or denied. Knowing these answers will help you build an informed claim that can stand up against scrutiny from insurance companies.
If you don’t feel confident translating your policies language on your own, consider hiring a property damage attorney to help.
Do You Have (or Need) Flood Insurance?
Many policyholders don’t know that flood damage isn’t covered in most standard homeowners insurance policies. For far too many residents in hurricane-prone communities, this realization comes too late—flood damage is often the greatest single driver of property damage during a hurricane.
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, especially during hurricane season, be sure to look closely at your existing policy. If you do not already have flood insurance included in your policy, reach out to your insurance agent as soon as possible, or check with the National Flood Insurance Program for more details.
A flood insurance policy could be the deciding factor on whether or not your claim will succeed or give you the benefits you actually need to get back to normal. So, make sure you’re covered before filing a property damage claim.
Document All Your Belongings
To calculate the value of your claim, you need to understand exactly what was lost during the hurricane. The problem is that, if damage was substantial, it can be difficult to remember all the items that were damaged or missing, not to mention specific details about each one—and even more difficult to prove it all to the insurance company.
That’s why maintaining a detailed, up-to-date list of your possessions can dramatically increase the strength of your damage claim when working with an insurance adjuster.
When creating your list, be sure to include important details about your possessions, such as:
- Original price
- Purchase date
- Where you purchased each item
- Year and model number
- Any special details that would affect the value
The more details you have on your list of possessions, the stronger your claim will be, and the more accurately an attorney can calculate its value. Hurricane claims can be complicated when calculating benefits, so any information you have could be crucial to your claim’s success.
It is also helpful to keep extensive physical documentation of the condition of your possessions before and after a hurricane strikes. By taking photos of high value items from all angles, you can effectively communicate the damage it incurred compared to its original condition. This goes for property damage as well and can be one of your strongest defenses against an undervalued or denied claim.
Gather Supplies and Important Paperwork
In the event of a severe hurricane, it can be hard to know when you may be able to return to your home. This makes it important to gather necessary supplies and important documents before you go, in case of emergency or damage. Water damage can destroy documents and important files that could make or break your claim, so be sure to bring what you need with you.
Before evacuating for a hurricane, consider gathering the following to protect yourself and your loved ones from future anxiety or hardship:
- Will or estate documentation
- Insurance policy documents
- Deed to your home
- Vehicle titles and registration
- Important medication
- Medication refills
- Irreplaceable memories (photos, keepsakes, video, etc.)
Although it may be tempting to take everything of personal value, be sure to only take what is absolutely necessary. Your safety should be your number one priority, but having these items, or similar items of value, can give you the support you need when it’s safe to come back to your home after the hurricane subsides.
Insurance Claim HQ: Here to Help You When Disaster Strikes This Hurricane Season
Hurricanes cause significant stress for Louisiana residents; facing the property damage claims process alone only adds to this stress.
That’s why Insurance Claim HQ is committed to protecting and working alongside hurricane damage claimants to reduce their stress and get the benefits they deserve. Our team of experienced hurricane damage attorneys is here to help you navigate your claim, fight back in case of a wrongful denial, and communicate with your insurance on your behalf.
If you or a loved one are facing a hurricane damage claim and don’t want to go up against the insurance company alone, call Insurance Claim HQ at 844-587-8395 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.