During hurricane season, and especially now with Hurricane Dorian approaching, all homeowners should prepare a plan of action for if and when a hurricane impacts your community. The first step is to make sure your family is secure. You should visit your county or city government’s website to research the closest shelters. If you are going to stay in your home, be sure to install your storm shutters or other barricades over windows and vulnerable entry ways. Your plan should also include ensuring your family has enough water, non-perishable food items, flashlights, batteries, and medical supplies. A full tank of gas for your car is also recommended.
One unique aspect of a hurricane is that you have advance notice of its potential impact. Once you know you have enacted your plan to secure your family and your property, you can start thinking ahead about the aftermath of the Hurricane. Whether it’s wind damage to your roof or water intrusion to the interior of your home, hurricanes pose a substantial risk to all your property and you need to be prepared.
If your property is damaged, and you need to make a claim to your homeowners’ insurance company, the following steps can make the process easier and help you and your property recover faster:
- Take pictures of your home, both inside and out, to document the condition of your home before the hurricane arrives. Make a list of all of your personal property that might be damaged during the hurricane.
- Make sure you have ready access to your insurance policy, and the contact information for the claims department. Review the section of your policy titled “Duties after Loss.” This section will likely contain certain requirements you must satisfy after a loss, which if you don’t, the insurance company will try and avoid paying your claim. At the end of the day, your policy with the insurance company is a contract, with responsibilities for both you and the company.
- Once the immediate danger of the storm has passed, inspect your property to determine if there has been any damage by the storm. Be sure to document any damages by taking pictures or videos. This is especially true if you need to make immediate repairs. You can make those repairs, but be sure to document the damage before you begin, and do not throw anything away. Keep all your receipts no matter how small. Failing to document your expenses is one reason the insurance company can deny your claim.
- Next, contact us. Everything you say and submit to your insurance company is considered when deciding whether to accept or deny your claim. So, it is very helpful to have the assistance of an experienced attorney from the outset of your claim.
- It is important for you to contact us, a public adjuster, or your insurance company as soon as possible after the storm to begin the claims process. Another reason insurance companies deny coverage is the failure of homeowners to timely notify them of damage. So don’t wait!
These simple tips can improve your ability to receive full compensation for the damage to your property. If you have any questions about the homeowners’ insurance claims process, feel free to give us a call at 786-292-2668, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message using the contact us page on this website.
We hope you and yours remain safe during the hurricane, and we will be there to help you if you need us.