After a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or other disaster has affected your life, the road to recovery starts almost immediately. Rebuilding physically and emotionally will be exhausting and stressful, but we want to take the legal guesswork out of it, so you can focus on what you believe is most important to your recovery.
As soon as a disaster happens, the insurance companies begin searching for ways to deny or minimize your claim the second they find out about it. After all, they are in the business of collecting premiums from you, not paying out money. They will do anything to minimize your claim.
Here’s what do in order to make sure you are safe and your claim is protected:
Make sure your home is safe. In the minutes following a tragedy, you may be in a state of shock and overlook this simple task. Do not go into the home if it is not safe to avoid injuries. At Insurance Claim HQ, our experienced property casualty attorneys can help you with your claim, but we cannot undo any injuries you sustain. Ensuring that your home is safe may include cutting off your utilities in the case of a fire or any major water event, sealing up any openings that you can, and of course, reporting to the appropriate authorities. Make sure you have the proper protective gear upon re-entering the home.
Do not place yourself at risk. If you are dealing with a fire, the fire department will probably tell you when the heat has subsided, but there are other risks, too. Any water event has the capability of bringing raw sewage and dangerous bacteria. Many people were sick after Hurricane Katrina solely because of hazards in the water. Also, mold can start growing almost immediately. We hear it time and time again that someone has fallen ill after a water related disaster. Sometimes we will do testing to determine why this person has gotten sick and the answer is usually that they didn’t have proper protective gear when they re-entered the home. There are vendors that will do mitigation work to ensure the home is safe. Our experienced property casualty attorneys are happy to help you choose a good, reputable vendor.
Protect the home from further damage. There is what is called a “duty to mitigate” loss in most insurance policies. This means that it is your responsibility to make sure that the damage doesn’t get worse. So, for instance, you may need to have a tarp placed over a damaged roof to stop additional water from getting in. A fire damaged home may need to be secured to keep thieves out and any openings sealed off.
Contact an experienced property casualty attorney to assist you with your legal claim and help you move forward. Our goal is to help you move on from this terrible disaster and you will have both our sincerest empathy and also our most dedicated service.