Steps to Take if Your Property has Damage after a Hurricane
Coastal Floridians in certain cities like Panama City have experienced many serious hurricanes in recent years. Hurricane Michael and other tropical storms wreaked havoc on many homes and businesses due to forceful winds, heavy rains, and storm surges. Whether your home was flooded, your boat ran aground, your car totaled, or your business interrupted by a hurricane, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your rights to insurance benefits.
Document and photograph.
Your insurance company will not simply take your word when it comes to the damage that occurred. Instead, take the time to carefully photograph all visible damage, as well as make detailed notes. This will help you be prepared when it is time to file your insurance claims.
Make emergency repairs.
While it may be tempting to immediately start fixing anything you can to get back to normal, at first, you should only make emergency repairs. Cover broken windows, so no one gets injured by broken glass, cover damaged roofs with tarps to prevent additional water getting in, and similar repairs. However, it is important that you do not begin any permanent repairs until your insurance adjuster has reviewed the damage. This can help prove the full amount you deserve for the damage to your property.
Find your home inventory.
Anyone who is in the possible path of a hurricane should have a detailed inventory of all the possessions in their home or business. This way, should something get damaged or washed away, you have proof of what you owned and its estimated value. Take photos, keep receipts or valuable items, and include thorough descriptions to present to your insurance company. Keep the inventory in a secure place so you can protect it from damage and retrieve it right away after the hurricane. You can then compare your damaged items to the inventory.
Do not stay in an unsafe home.
Some hurricane damage can cause your home to be unsafe. If your home is not habitable, find a secure and safe place to stay until the repairs are completed. Your homeowner’s insurance policy might have loss of use coverage that can mitigate the cost of a hotel or
another type of lodging. However, saving costs is never worth putting yourself or your family at risk of harm.
Speak with a hurricane and disaster recovery attorney.
Before you file your various insurance claims, you should discuss the proper course of action with an experienced disaster relief lawyer. The right lawyer can review your policy information, assess the damage to your property, and help you begin the claims process. We can also see you through to a successful claim, including appealing any denials you might receive.
Contact Our Hurricane Insurance Claims Attorneys for Assistance
The legal team at Ged Lawyers, LLP, assists property owners with complex insurance claims after hurricanes and other disasters. If you were affected by a hurricane, please contact us right away to discuss your rights and the steps to take.