Hurricane Insurance Claim Tips (2)

Document Before Repairing

After the Storm:

Before any clean up, photograph and video any damage and debris in and around the building. 

This inspection should occur only after a storm has passed and you are safe. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING prior to recording the damage. All debris, downed trees, damaged structures and contents should be left in their post-storm location until documented. Attempt to replicate the location and angle of prior photographs recordings to demonstrate any changes in condition or position of items.

Report your insurance claims as soon as possible and document the date of claim reporting. 

Insurance claims are paid out as adjustments are completed and agreements are reached. If an insurance company depletes its funds paying the losses of others, it may be unable to pay your loss. It is important to report your insurance claims timely. Current Florida law requires hurricane losses to be reported within 3 years after the hurricane first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage. However, insurance companies often become suspicious of claims if not filed within the first few weeks, which may result in a delay in your claim adjustment or an outright denial. Do not report a claim to an insurance agent. Whenever possible, report your loss in writing by fax or email directly to your insurance company. If not possible, report the claim by phone, yourself. When calling the insurance company and take down the name of every employee you speak with and record the date and time and summarize the discussion. If possible, put the call on speaker phone and record the conversations. Get approval from all call participants before recording. During the call, do not speculate as to the scope of your loss or guess on repair costs. Leave those issues to be evaluated by the experts, like engineers and general contractors. 

Protect your property from further damage. 

Once you photograph and/or video the condition of your roof (before anyone walks on it), protect your property from further damage by tarping openings, boarding up windows and drying out the building and contents as soon as possible. Before asking anyone to help with the work, make sure you are using reputable, licensed and insured contractors. Ask for a card with their license number printed on it. Verify license is active, if able, at https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp. Otherwise, document all persons helping with cleanup efforts, taking down their full name, date of work and time spent assisting. Get the insurance company’s permission, preferably in writing, before discarding any ruined contents or building materials. 

Bennett Legal is available for a free consultation. Put our experience to work for you. We do not charge for representation unless we help you recover.  

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