Once you’ve received a check from your insurance company, you may be ready to stop thinking about hurricanes, storm surges, and what you’ve lost for a long, long time. However, before you do, attorney Bill Voss wants to remind you that a fair settlement from your insurance company isn’t necessarily the end of the recovery process. There are still a few important things you can do now to protect yourself and your property as you move forward:
- Make sure you agree with the amount. Before you accept the insurance check or sign a waiver, make sure the amount being offered covers all the damage to your property. If you’ve found additional damage since you’ve filed your insurance claim, or if you aren’t sure that everything was accounted for, don’t cash the check yet. If you do, you may be out of luck when it comes to reimbursement and have to pay out of pocket for any losses you missed on the claim.
- Contact your lender, if necessary. If the check is made out to both you and your lending company, you should call the lending company right away. The lender may hold the amount of the insurance check to first pay your repair contractors, and then the lender will send the remaining amount to you once repairs have been completed and verified. If you have any questions, it is crucial that you talk through them with your lender before attempting to use the insurance money you’ve received.
- Make plans for the future. Think about what you experienced after the hurricane and how the insurance claims process went. What could have been improved? This is a perfect time to think about how you can better prepare yourself for hurricanes. For example, you might think about whether you had the insurance coverage you needed for your property, if you were happy with the way your insurer handled your hurricane claim, how you can create a better hurricane emergency plan for your family, and how to best protect your home and property in the future. If you need help getting started, you can also visit “Know Your Stuff,” an in-depth resource from the Insurance Information Institute.
If you are still having trouble settling your insurance claim for hurricane damages, or if you don’t feel that your insurer is treating you fairly, contact the Voss Law Firm today at 1-888-614-7730 for a free case review. You may also want to request a free copy of our helpful book, Tricks of the Trade, which will explain more how and why insurance companies delay, deny, and undervalue legitimate claims—and what you, as a policyholder, can do about it.