How to Prepare for a Property Damage Claim Before a Hurricane Strikes
At The Morgan Law Group P.A., our Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Puerto Rico, and Florida insurance claims attorneys know that few storms do as much damage to homes, businesses, and other properties as hurricanes.
With several months of hurricane season still ahead, here are a few tips to be prepared for a property damage claim, if or when a storm strikes.
Be Prepared, Before a Hurricane is On the Radar
Hurricane season is a concerning factor for home, business, and property owners throughout Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, California, and Puerto Rico each year.
Before a potentially dangerous storm is even on the radar, there are several things you can do to prepare, in case you must file an insurance claim later.
- Locating and saving an up-to-date copy of your insurance policy — in both print and digital forms — and understanding what your policy covers.
- Documenting the “before” condition of your home and property — inside and out — through images and/or video.
- Keeping an up-to-date list and accompanying photos of all your possessions, including:
- Purchase date
- Purchase location
- Original price
- Model number
- Year of manufacture
- Specific details that affect the value
Store the images and documentation in a safe place, off the premises, with other important documents, so they can be retrieved after the storm has passed.
Important items that can be stored in a safety deposit box or safe may include:
- Insurance policy documents
- Vehicle titles and registration
- Estate planning documents
Keep an eye on the weather, and stay up to date with tips, warnings, and potential evacuation requirements through the U.S. government’s Ready.gov hurricane awareness page.
After the Storm Has Passed
Whether you were required to evacuate or were able to shelter in place, you will need to act quickly after the storm passes.
Insurance providers require home, business, and property owners to prevent further damage to the properties that are covered in their policies, or risk not having them covered at all during the valuation.
For instance, if there is a hole in your roof, it is your responsibility to cover it with a tarp to avoid additional water damage to the home. If you do not, the additional damage may be considered “preventable” and, therefore, not covered. If you must hire someone to help, take before and after pictures of the damage, and keep a copy of the receipt for their services.
Take pictures and videos of all the damage to your property, and never throw away any evidence of damage during the clean-up.
Keep in mind, your insurance company is going to be busy after a hurricane, so it is important to do everything you can to get your insurance claim right the first time, so they have no reason to delay, undervalue, or deny your claim. We can help.
Contact our experienced Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, California, and Puerto Rico insurance claims attorneys by calling 888-904-2524 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you pursue the outcome you deserve from your insurance policy.