If you have suffered any sort of loss as a result of hurricane Florence or another storm, the steps you take following this unfortunate event will dictate whether you are compensated. You should document and report your hurricane loss to the insurance company as quickly as possible. Here is exactly what you should do to maximize your insurance recovery.
Locate Your Insurance Policy
Once you are safe and sound, the first step following the hurricane, storm or other event is to locate your insurance policy. Review the language of your specific insurance policy to determine exactly what is covered. This document will also explain your obligations and rights. As you review your insurance policy, jot down any deadlines of importance such as when the last possible date is to give notice, file the sworn proof of loss or even file a lawsuit if you are in disagreement with the insurer’s coverage determination. You will likely find this matter complicated to the point that the assistance of an attorney is necessary to have any chance of emerging with ample compensation.
The most important thing you can do is be proactive. Gather as much information as possible, act quickly, provide your attorney with enough time to advocate on your behalf and you will likely emerge with the compensation you need. So do not wait for the insurance company to ask for information about the loss. Be proactive by providing the supporting documentation right away. Just be sure to verify your loss amount prior to proceeding. Don’t rush through the valuation process due to a fear of an approaching deadline. If your claim value is off, it could come back to haunt you down the line.
Document Every Aspect of the Claim
Document your claim’s details from beginning to end. This way, if the insurance company’s representative misplaces something or makes a mistake, you will have a written record of the discussion and facts to back up your statements. You can facilitate the processing of your claim by giving the insurance company supporting documentation right away. Of critical importance is the documentation of your losses. The entire loss must be evaluated before any cleanup attempt is made. Property damage along with property that is unusable in the days after the storm should be included in your insurance claim. Write down every action you take, track your expenses for everything related to the claim and save all of the related receipts.
Some insurance companies mandate the policyholder protect the property against additional loss. You should take every step possible to mitigate subsequent damage. Most of these expenses will likely be covered by the policy as long as they are related to the storm and you keep the receipts. Take a close look at your policy to determine if such mitigation expenses will be fully reimbursed.
Go the Extra Step by Documenting the Damage With Photos
Do not perform any repair work until you have fully documented the damage. It is not enough to call the insurance company and describe the damage. Nor will a written description suffice. Take photographs of the damage from several different angles. Keep the receipts from all related equipment, emergency repair bills and other subsequent costs. The policy might cover more than you initially assume yet the burden of proof is on you to show the extent to which your property is damaged.
Lean on the Experts
The most important thing you can do to maximize your compensation following hurricane Florence or any other storm is to ask for help from those with experience in handling flood insurance claims. Our legal team is here to expedite your claim, go head-to-head with the insurance company or opposing counsel and ultimately maximize your compensation following this unfortunate event. Let us handle the legal challenges following the storm so you can do your best to return your life to normal. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.