From Florida to Maine, Hurricane Sandy swept up the Eastern seaboard this week, bringing with it crashing waves, torrential rains, and destructive winds. At this time, we know that dozens of Americans have died, while many more are injured or stranded. At the same time, billions of dollars of damage has been done to homes, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, schools, and businesses up and down the coast and even hundreds of miles inland.
Storm damage has been reported in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Vermont Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia (Washington, DC).
It is never too early begin thinking about your hurricane-related insurance claim – especially when it comes to your place of business or your property. After the danger has passed and after you have taken care of your personal health and needs, you should begin to assess the damage done and immediately begin to create a plan for recovery and rebuilding. Part of that plan will likely include filing an insurance claim.
The first steps you should take if your business or property was damaged in Hurricane Sandy:
- Document the damage. Assess the issues, take pictures, and collect any pre-damage pictures you may have. Avoid assessing or documenting damage until all storm-related dangers have passed.
- Review your insurance policy. If you haven’t already, sit down and take a very close look at your contract. Pay special attention to the sections regarding storm and hurricane damage. If you cannot understand the technical language, consider reviewing the document with someone who can.
- Report the damage. Call your insurance company and report the issue. Be careful not to make assumptions about the cause of the damage as this information could be used against you later. For example, say that your floor suffered water damage, don’t say that flooding caused your floors water damage.
- Make repairs that will prevent further damage. Although you do not want to make permanent repairs until further in the process, making temporary repairs that will stop future damage (such as boarding up windows or the roof) or decrease dangers is key. Keep track of what these repairs cost and exactly what you fixed.
- Consider an insurance management team. At Voss Law Firm, we assist business owners and property owners with the entire commercial insurance claim process, from start to finish. If you would like us to help you with your Hurricane Sandy claim and related legal issues, call us today at 888-614-7730.