With hurricane season upon us, we’re hearing lots of advice on what to do to prepare for a hurricane. Although most of already know the drill on protecting our homes and having necessary supplies on hand, many Floridians are caught off guard and do not know what to do when hurricane damage does actually occur.
If any of your property has been damaged by a hurricane or tropical storm, you should contact your insurance company immediately, since time is of the essence in repairing the damage and preventing further problems due to mold or flooding. Working with your insurance company on filing your claim can also help you make sure you’re completing forms correctly so that disputes do not occur.
If possible, you should take pictures showing all damage or flooding, and, if at all possible, protect your property from additional damage. Damaged property that could pose a health hazard should be disposed of after being photographed and described in a written record.
Having good records could potentially speed up the settlement of your claim. An inventory of missing or damaged items, with manufacturers’ names, dates and places of purchase and prices can be especially helpful to try to ensure you receive appropriate compensation from your insurance company. Your pictures and inventory could also be helpful if you need to take legal action against your insurance company in order to recover the costs from your hurricane damage.
When your home, vehicle, or business has been damaged by a hurricane, you probably want to begin cleaning up and getting things fixed as soon as possible. However, doing so is not in your best interest. Insurance companies typically require an assessment of the hurricane damage before they cover any repair costs, which means the damage must be apparent for the insurance company’s adjuster to see and document.
In some cases, this need to wait for an adjustor to assess damages can lead to additional problems. Water getting inside your home following hurricane damage to your roof can, for example, cause permanent mold damage. If your insurance company covers only the original roof damage, but their negligence caused additional damage, you may need to work with a hurricane damage attorney to get rightfully compensated.
Other types of damage besides mold from delayed cleanup may not be covered by your insurance policy. In fact, many policies cover hurricane wind damage but not flooding damage. If, however, your policy is unclear on coverage for hurricane flooding damage and denies a claim based on vague or misleading wording, a Florida hurricane damage attorney can help you get compensated for the damage.
The same holds true for other denied hurricane insurance claims. If your insurance company has intentionally misled you in an effort to not pay a legitimate hurricane damage claim, a hurricane damage attorney can help you appeal the claim or, if necessary, file suit against your insurance company.
Because the stakes are so high when dealing with hurricane damage, you may want to talk with an experienced hurricane damage attorney as soon as possible after a hurricane. Insurance companies may try to avoid compensating you for damages, and being armed with knowledge of your rights can help you from the start.
At Paul & Perkins, we have been helping insurance policyholders understand their rights and get compensated fairly for hurricane damage for many years. We know how devastating hurricane damage can be and are prepared to take your case all the way to court and win, if that’s what is necessary to ensure you are compensated fairly for your hurricane damage.
Call Paul & Perkins today at 888-818-1439 or contact us online to talk with an experienced hurricane damage attorney dedicated to fighting for your rights.