If you live in Miami, then you know just how devastating a hurricane can be. Tropical force winds and rain have the ability to rip apart the exterior of homes and flood the interior. Those who have experienced loss to their property as a result of a hurricane can attest to emotional and financial hardship that these storms can bring.
Having a homeowner’s insurance policy is the first step to protecting your financial interests in the event of a hurricane. However, filing an insurance claim is typically just the first step toward making a full financial recovery. Insurance companies want to reduce the amount due to you and will work to minimize the damage that you experienced. In some instances, they might try to deny your hurricane damage claim altogether.
Having an experienced first-party insurance claim attorney on your side will level the playing field and ensure that you receive the compensation you need to rebuild what you lost.
Prior to a hurricane, you may take steps to protect your home. You may board up windows and place sandbags around doors. When even our best attempts to prepare for a hurricane are not enough, the steps you take following a hurricane are critical to your ability to replace or rebuild what is lost.
In the event of a hurricane, it is a good idea to take a full inventory of your property. Not only will a property inventory help you determine the value of your property, but it will provide documentation that could be used to support your insurance claim.
In addition to the home inventory, you should take photos and videos documenting the damage to your home. Start with the exterior of your home, checking each side and the roof. Then, move inside and take photos of each room. Once you have done this, take photos of individual pieces of property that were damaged by the hurricane. This should be done immediately after the storm has passed to prove that the damage was actually caused by the storm.
Insurance companies will do whatever they can to limit the amount they pay to you after filing an insurance claim. If your property has been damaged by a hurricane, it is important to take steps to prevent further damage. An insurance adjuster, for example, might try to claim that your losses are due to weather events occurring after the hurricane.
Don’t give the insurance companies any reason to deny your claim. Use tarps and plywood to cover any damage, and take steps to mitigate further damage from flooding and standing water.
Immediately after a hurricane, filing an insurance claim may be the last thing on your mind. However, it is important to act quickly and file an insurance claim as soon as you have documented the damage.
Your insurance company must review and acknowledge your insurance claim within 14 days of receiving a claim. The insurance company then has 90 days to either pay or deny your insurance claim. There may be some instances, however, in which an insurer cannot pay on a claim within that time period.
If your insurance company tries to delay or deny your insurance claim after a hurricane, you should speak with an insurance claim lawyer. Redondo Law helps homeowners and business owners file first-party insurance claims and will fight for your rights to compensation under your insurance policy. Contact Miami insurance attorney Mike Redondo today for a free consultation at (305) 908-6778.