Hurricanes pose a constant threat to people living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast. As Hurricane Ida showed in 2021, these storms can cause massive flooding, severe wind damage, and extensive harm to real estate.
Many choose to obtain homeowners or business insurance policies that issue payments for property damage after hurricanes. Sadly, obtaining these payments can be difficult. Insurance companies may argue that a policy doesn’t cover hurricane damage or that a policyholder didn’t take the right steps in filing a claim.
For this reason, our experienced lawyers have compiled a hurricane insurance claim checklist. This checklist is designed to help property owners understand their rights after severe storms and give them the best chance to receive the payments they need.
Locate Your Insurance Policy
If your property has suffered damage due to a hurricane, you need to act quickly to assess your insurance coverage. The initial step in the claims process is to find a copy of your policy. It’s usually best to keep these documents in a safe location, such as a deposit box at a bank. In addition, these documents are sometimes available online.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Once you find your policy, examine it for the coverage that it provides. Many property protection policies in Louisiana will include provisions for hurricane damage or floods. These policies can also help parties better understand the extent of payments they can expect.
Document the Damage to the Best of Your Ability
Insurance policies only provide compensation if there’s direct proof that damage has occurred due to a covered event. With hurricanes, it’s best to take pictures and video as soon after the event as possible while making sure you remain safe. Ideally, you’ll have pictures or videos from before the hurricane to compare how the storm has affected your property. Many policies cover more than just structural damage. It may be possible to recover the value of furniture, appliances, valuables within the property, or business assets, as well. Compiling a full list of losses before reaching out to your insurance company will help you avoid missing any potentially coverable losses.
Take Caution when Dealing with Your Insurance Company
Be sure to submit a comprehensive and detailed claim with your insurance company. This will give you the best chance to receive the compensation that you deserve.
Catalog Your Conversations with Insurance Adjusters
Once you submit the claim, make sure you understand everything that the insurance company says to you. Remember that although an insurance adjuster may appear to be your friend, these companies make their profits by collecting premiums while finding excuses to deny claims. To protect yourself, catalog your conversations with representatives from the insurance companies, and don’t sign anything without reading and understanding what it says. It’s not unusual for insurance providers to offer claim payments for a fraction of what you actually deserve under a policy.
Reach Out to a Seasoned Attorney with Any Questions You Have
Seeking payments through a homeowner’s or business owner’s policy can be a confusing and daunting task. Many policyholders find that their insurance companies are unfairly denying a claim or offering compensation for a fraction of the claim’s value.
If you believe this is happening to you, reach out to our firm today. We can help you deal with insurance companies and demand the payments you deserve for your property damage after a hurricane.