Hurricane Recovery Tips and Resources
My property was damaged by a Hurricane, now what do I do?
Review Policy and visit the propertyIt is recommended that you review your policy at least annually to confirm you have sufficient coverage for likely perils. Now, after the storm, review the policy again. You may call your agent or an attorney to explain any confusing language.
Visit the property as soon as safely possible. Look for noticeable damages and take photographs of everything. (Photograph everything even if you don't think it's important at this time.) Look carefully at the water lines if the house flooded. Note leaks in the ceiling are not always below the leaking roof. Water can travel along the rafters.
While at the property, determine whether there are any immediate steps you can take to prevent further damage such as putting a tarp on the roof, removing water from the floors and carpets, removing damaged sheet rock, and removing other moisture from the home.
File your claim or have an attorney assist you.You can file your claim on your own or have an attorney assist you. An attorney may be able to guide you through the early stages of the claim process to help you maximize your recovery more quickly.
Meet with the adjuster.The Insurance Company will arrange for an adjuster to come out to your property to make an assessment. You should be there if you can. You may give insight into the issues that you see that the insurance adjuster may miss. Have the adjuster explain to you the differences between flood coverage and wind/hurricane. You should receive the insurance settlement offer in a couple of weeks.
Call an attorneyIf you do not already have an attorney working with you, then this is the time to call an attorney. The attorney should ask for your policy, ask for a copy of the estimate, and review the same. If the estimate seems low, or if important items have been left off, then, working with you, a contractor will go to the property and prepare an estimate for you. The adjuster was working for the insurance company, your attorney will be working for you.
Attorney will negotiate a resolutionYou will work in collaboration with your attorney to reach a fair settlement. If the insurance company refuses to pay out an appropriate award under the facts, then your attorney will pursue litigation on your behalf.
The goal is to restore your property to its pre-hurricane condition. However, many policies have "code update" coverage that provides for the property to the improved up to the current hurricane building codes.