With today’s news from the National Hurricane Center that Florida can expect to experience its first hurricane in almost 11 years, it’s important to remember some key information as you prepare for the aftermath of a hurricane.
Even the most thorough preparations for a hurricane will not guarantee your property will be free from sustaining some type of property damage. Once the hurricane has passed, and you have determined that it is safe to go outside, you should inspect the inside and outside of your home for damage.
Oftentimes a hurricane and its accompanying wind and rain will cause damage to your roof, windows, doors, siding, business signage, fence, trees and anything else left exposed the high winds and rain. Some telltale signs of roof damage are water leaks inside the home, discoloration of the exterior and interior ceilings and walls and roofing materials on the ground outside your property. Should your property sustain any damage from the hurricane there are a few things you should do immediately.
- Document your property damage. The majority of Americans now carry a sophisticated digital camera with them every day in the form of a smartphone. Try to take photographs and videos of any damage sustained in the hurricane for use in your insurance claim.
- Mitigate your property damage. One of the most common scenes after a hurricane is the view of an entire neighborhood of blue tarp covered homes. These blue tarps are used as temporary covers on one’s roof to prevent water from continuing to enter a home. Most, if not all, insurance policies require you to mitigate your damage following a loss. You should take all reasonable and necessary steps to prevent against further damage. This will often include tarping your roof and drying up any water found within your property. There are companies that provide these types of services, but like anything else, you should do your research before hiring a particular company.
- Locate and organize your insurance documents. If you are going to look to an insurance company to pay for your property damage you will have to make sure that you have type of insurance that will cover damages from a hurricane. If you are a homeowner this will likely come by way of a homeowner or dwelling policy. If you’re a business owner then you may need to look towards your commercial property and casualty policy. If you are a condominium owner this will likely be a culmination of your homeowner or dwelling policy and the condominium association’s property and casualty policy. Review your policy and identify whether or not you have coverage for damage caused by windstorms, wind and wind-driven rain. Also identify your policy limits and deductible in your insurance policy. Once you have determined coverage, your limits and your deductible, then you can call your insurance agent or insurance company to report your loss. If you do not understand your policy language or want to ensure that you get the most out of your insurance claim then you should probably contact an attorney or public adjuster.
- Call the Law Office of Gonzalez & Associates at (866) 599-9529. Insurance policies are difficult to understand. It is almost always advisable to contact an attorney or public adjuster to help you through the insurance claim process. There are many conditions in an insurance policy that must be complied with, and which failing to comply with could void coverage over a loss. Our attorneys and service professionals are well versed in interpreting policy language and ensuring that post-loss conditions are met so that insurance benefits may be paid.
Our office provides free consultations in relation to insurance claims. We will happily review your insurance documentation and let you know what coverages you have and advise whether or not you should file an insurance claim. We will also help you set up any necessary mitigation services and hire an expert determine the amount of loss to be sought from the insurance company.
Our office works with homeowners and business owners on a contingency basis, which means if there is no recovery, there is no fee. Insurance companies hire thousands of lawyers to fight insurance claims every day, shouldn’t you do the same for your family.