The devastation from Hurricane Irene is still unfolding. Flooding in New Jersey, New England, and many other states has not receded. Wind damage and destruction from fallen trees have left homeowners crestfallen and insurance companies inundated with claims. The destruction left in Irene's path is likely to cause over 1,000,000 insurance claims.
Here are 5 things you should know before you initiate your Hurricane Irene insurance claim:
- Insurance companies are interested in maintaining profits, which means settling claims with customers for as little as possible. Their television commercials may portray a fantasy of super hero adjusters and claims issues being settled instantly, but oftentimes the adjustors are aiming to offer you a low settlement. When it comes to your claims process, be wary of any offers the insurance company makes; ensure you are getting a fair settlement.
- Document every single item and structure involved in your claim. This should include an itemized bill and photographic evidence.
- If there has been any water damage, analyze your policy to see if it includes flood insurance. Many homeowner's insurance policies cover water damage that occurs from water entering the house through the roof or window. However, specific flood insurance is often required for damage caused by groundwater entering through the basement or from an overflowing river or creek. Check your policy before you begin the claims process and know your rights. An attorney may be able to help sort out what exactly is covered by your policy.
- Read your policy carefully and determine which provisions you are going to make your claim under. The insurance company may attempt to unfairly deny your claim under the assumption that you will not know the specifics of your policy. If you call them with an understanding of your policy from the beginning, they will be more apt to cooperate.
- Do not hesitate. Prepare for your claim quickly. Document everything immediately and take measures to prevent additional damage. If you wait too long to initiate your claim, the insurance company may have justifiable grounds to deny it.
If your home, business, or property was damaged by Hurricane Irene and you need help negotiating with the insurance company, contact the experienced hurricane damage attorneys at The Voss Law Firm today by calling 888-614-7730.