Your condominium has been leveled or your car has been crushed under a tree — what do you do now? File a claim — and fast. But be careful. You might not want to go at it alone. Consider a qualified experienced insurance claim lawyer like Bill Voss.
Hundreds of thousands of insurance policyholders are expected to file claims over the next few days. State Farm, for example, received 24,600 Hurricane Sandy-related claims by noon Wednesday, and New York State residents comprised a plurality, with 7,500 claims.
Here’s a checklist to ensure your insurance company sends a catastrophe team to make an inspection and then get you payment as quickly as possible - but remember not to sign any final release until your damages have been evaluated by someone on your side like hurricane insurance claim lawyer Bill Voss and his team.
1. First, call or email us. Articles are suggesting that you call your local agent, call the insurance company’s 800-line, use the company’s mobile app, or go to its website. These are all fine ways, but we have the opinion you should have someone experienced on your side prior to making any representations to your carrier, or anyone else that might not have your best interest at heart.
2. When it is safe, make temporary repairs to prevent more damage. That includes tarping or covering a roof or hole in the ceiling, covering broken windows with plywood or plastic, or securing any loose objects.
3. Save receipts for supplies. Reimbursements are possible.
4. Take photos or video for your own records, but real assessment occurs when agency representatives visit the site. Even if the house isn’t there anymore, a company representative still has to confirm all damage visually.
5. Make a list of potential property loss. Take a total home inventory.
6. Stay organized.
7. There is no standard waiting time for a catastrophe team member to contact you about the claim, but our team can push the ball as aggressively as anyone in the market on your behalf.
8. Most condo owner's insurance policies provide alternative residence stipends, usually a percentage of your total policy cost. Policyholders can normally choose from hotels or apartments, depending on their needs.
9. Checks can take from one to three months or more, depending on the complexity of the damage and number of claims on the insurance coverage and this exactly why you need someone on your side to make sure this gets done effectively and efficiently.
Storms like Hurricane Sandy remind condo owners of the need for insurance. But those without insurance should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which in cases of disaster, can provide assistance or loans.