Wondering What to Do If Your Home or Business is Affected by a Hurricane? It is a good question to ask. We are currently in the middle of one of the busiest hurricane seasons, and many homes and business owners are suffering from property damage. Recently Hurricane Laura swept through Louisiana, causing significant damage to property owners. Public adjusting in Lousiana is different from other states, and we recommend working with an experienced adjuster.
Assess Property Damages
After the hurricane passes and the area is safe to visit, assess your property for any damages caused by the hurricane. Evaluate the exterior of the roof if it is safe to do so. Also, review any interior damage caused by the storm as well. If the property is safe to walk through, we advise looking in each area and notating the damaged areas.
Notify Your Insurance Company
After your property has been damaged, contact your insurance company immediately to file a claim. Be sure to ask for detailed steps to prepare information for your claim. Most insurance companies require the use of their forms to document the damages for the insurance claim. Using a different form may result in an insurance denial, depending on the insurance provider.
After property damage occurs, time is crucial when notifying your insurance company. An insurance company denied an insureds property damage claim because he began working on fixing the damages before contacting the provider. After a hurricane, insurance companies create teams of adjusters, appraisers, and estimators to assess the property damages.
Review Your Insurance Policy
The language used in your insurance policy will establish the dollar amount for the property damages. It’s important to understand that there are exclusions in coverage for specific events. For example, a standard insurance policy does not cover flood damage. A separate flood insurance policy has to be purchased to have protection for this type of event. Reviewing your insurance policies before an event is crucial, and when a hurricane is approaching, insurance companies will not allow policyholders to make policy adjustments or purchase additional coverage. Read this article to find out the best time to review your insurance policy.
Setup a Detailed File for Your Property Damage Claim
After property damage happens, the evidence for your insurance claim will get misplaced if not quickly documented. We recommend taking pictures and videos immediately after the damage occurs before the conditions change. Sometimes the process to file paperwork takes months for the insurer to complete, so proper documentation of the damages right after they occur is crucial. Be sure to keep records of any out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to damages, such as:
- hotel and lodging costs
- travel expenses
- personal property
Store these receipts, credit card slips, and other proof of payments in a plastic bag so that they won’t get damaged.
Keep copies of all the repair estimates, appraisals, inspections, and other evaluations completed on your property.
Communicate With Your Insurance Company
When documentation is requested from your insurance company, be prepared to respond with the paperwork quickly. It’s important to understand that after a significant storm, the insurance companies are handling thousands of claims. Cooperating with the insurance company makes the process smoother for both parties.
Hire a Public Adjuster
After the recent hurricanes, policyholders should understand the importance of hiring a public adjuster. If the insurance company denies your claim, offers a less than a fair amount, or needs assistance with the process – contact a public adjusting firm today. At Strategic Claim Consultants, we work on behalf of the policyholders to maximize your insurance claim payout. We will communicate and negotiate with the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know has suffered from property damage due to a hurricane, contact our property damage experts today at 888.587.0806 to get started.