The strongest storm to make landfall in Louisiana in centuries, Hurricane Laura has brought devastation and terror to the gulf coast, battering the Louisiana and neighboring states and leaving in its wake a trail of destruction. It can take months – even years – to recover from the damage left behind by a natural disaster of this scale. For those afflicted, it can means years spent running down insurance agents who are unwilling to process a homeowners insurance damage claim, even when the insured is fully entitled to compensation due to a natural disaster. Your life has been sidelined by a force of nature; you don’t have the time or the mental fortitude to hound the insurance company responsible for your claim while you’re trying to rebuild your home and your life. We at Babcock Injury Lawyers understand the phenomenally difficult situation you have found yourself in and we’re here to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to for your claim.
Common Types of Property Damage From Storms
Every hurricane is different, and so is the damage that it causes. We know that a storm of such a caliber as Hurricane Laura (Category 4) is going to result in some pretty hefty damages. Here are some of the things that Louisiana residents have already reported in the wake of Laura:
- Damage to roofs
- Broken doors and windows
- Vehicle damage
- Water damage
- Damage to interiors of the home
- Damage to building foundations
- Uprooted trees and gardens
- Damage to decks, pools, and garages
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover
What homeowners’ insurance covers may vary from policy to policy. But in general, almost all homeowners insurance policies cover the following:
- Repair costs for the home
- Repair or replacement cost of damaged personal property like furniture, appliances, and clothes
- Living expenses like medication, temporary accommodation, etc
While your homeowners’ insurance will cover damage caused by wind, wind-driven rain, and water that has seeped into the home from doors or windows or holes in the roofing, it will not cover the damages caused by flooding. For that, you will need to have specific flood insurance coverage.
Confused about what is covered by your homeowners’ insurance and what is not?
Filing a Claim
Being in the middle of Hurricane Laura and the damage it is creating is difficult enough. Filing an insurance claim and battling insurance companies will make this situation even tougher. You can protect yourself by making sure that you are fully aware of what your insurance policy does and does not cover. Reread your documents carefully and thoroughly and gather as much information as you can about the circumstances of your claim before meeting with your insurance adjuster. Most insurance policies have a tax-deductible, which refers to the amount of the claim that you should pay out of your pocket before the company pays you the rest. Read your policy and confirm whether your deductible applies to hurricane damage as well. Some policies may have a higher deductible for damage caused by hurricanes.
Even if you have all of the information before you and you know that your claim is valid, a hurricane damage insurance claim is not always easy to handle. Insurance companies don’t always have your best interests at heart; especially when it comes to paying the same or higher damages to hundreds or thousands of homeowners affected by the same disaster. Ensuring you get what you deserve is not their priority. As a result, they resort to many delaying tactics and other methods to either reduce your insurance claim or not give you anything at all. This entire process can get very frustrating. This is why you need Baton Rouge hurricane claim lawyers to help you with your claims.
Tactics That Insurance Companies Use
|Delay or deny the claim and stall communication||Ask for more proof while there is enough to prove damage||Blame the damage on poor maintenance of the property||Claim that all information was not given when the policy was bought||Try to make a lower offer than you deserve|
Excuses Given by Insurance Companies to Deny Claims
Insurance companies are smart. With the kind of destruction that Hurricane Laura has been creating, they know that you and others will be facing devastation and most likely won’t have the time or the will to argue against a smaller claim payout. Because of this, an insurance company will often prey on your weakest moments, giving you excuses and reasons to delay or deny your claim. Some of the reasons that an insurer may give for offering a lower claim include:
- Damage not being caused by the hurricane
- Operation of an exclusion clause. For example, your house should have been in a certain condition to qualify for hurricane damage
- Damage caused by flooding which is not covered in homeowners’ insurance
- Damage caused by wear and tear over time
- Cancellation of your insurance policy
How We Can Help With Your Louisiana Hurricane Damage Claims
Providing you with the right amount for your Hurricane Laura damage claim will not be a priority for your insurance company. They will try whatever they can to give you a smaller amount than the original claim; or worse, deny your claim entirely.
Dealing with the insurance adjusters for a hurricane damage claim is not easy. You will need the expertise of a personal injury attorney who deals with insurance companies to work with you.
If things get out of hand, we are always there to help. With years of experience in both litigation and negotiations, we will make sure you get the right amount for your Hurricane Laura damage claims. We will go through the paperwork in detail and hold the insurance company accountable for any delays. We will dispute claim denials on your behalf and fight for you in a court of law if required, until you are awarded the compensation you rightly deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hurricane Damage
- I can’t find my insurance policy. What do I do?
Ans: Report your damage to an insurance agent with a phone call or email if you are not able to find your insurance policy. Your agent will help you with another copy of your policy.
- What information should I provide to the insurance company
Ans: You should describe the damage in as much detail as possible. Inform your agent about what caused the damage and when it happened. If your agent tells you that your damage is not covered by the policy, call us. We will go over your policy documents and explain the details to the agent.
- How will I know my insurance coverage and deductibles?
Ans: This information is given on the “Declarations” page of your policy document. It lists out your insurance coverage limits and your deductibles.
Contact Our Law Firm for a Free Consultation!
Running behind insurance companies is no easy task. All the paperwork, the back and forth, and the many excuses given to deny or delay your insurance claims can be frustrating. Having the support of Louisiana hurricane claims lawyers can be a boon at such times. With years of experiences and hundreds of successful cases under our belt, we can help you with your Hurricane Laura damage claims.
Contact us for a free consultation!