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Was your home or business damaged in a recent storm?

Are you now getting bombarded by door-to-door contractors offering quick repairs and “help” with your insurance claim?

While you are undoubtedly anxious to make your house a home again, a hasty decision now could cost you later. Filing a storm damage insurance claim can be complicated and time-consuming, but it’s imperative that you take necessary measures to recover the full value of your loss under your policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies are increasingly focused on their bottom line and may try and cut corners, especially after large, costly storms.

So how do you protect yourself?

Here are seven insurance claim tips to help you get fair and just compensation for your property damage.

TIP 1: Contact your insurance company right away.

Insurance agents have a duty to tell you the type of coverage you have and whether your loss is covered under the policy. They should promptly start a claim and schedule a time for an insurance adjuster to visit your home or business to inspect the damage. Every time you speak with an insurance company representative, document the date, time, and who you spoke with.

Remember: Insurance companies often put profit over policyholders and may NOT have your best interests in mind. 

Contact your insurance company right away.
Assess your loss.

TIP 2: Assess your loss.

Perform a thorough walk-through of your property. Look everywhere for damage. Do shingles have loose corners? Are bricks missing? Do you have water-damaged carpet?

Take photos and videos. Make a list of damaged and missing items. No one knows your home better than you.

TIP 3: Mitigate, or prevent, further damage.

Stop anything from causing more damage to your property, but resist the urge to do a major clean-up or make large or permanent repairs prior to speaking with your insurance company.

Document all repairs and keep receipts of any expenses related to repairs, including tarps, tape, lumber and gas. If your home is uninhabitable, keep track of your additional living expenses (ALE), which may also be covered under your policy.

Mitigate, or prevent, further damage.
4. Don’t go with the first contractor who comes to your door

TIP 4: Choose your contractor wisely.

Don’t hire the first contractor who comes to your door ― or the first contractor recommended by your insurance company. Make sure the contractor you hire to repair your damage is reputable, established, licensed, bonded and insured. Ask your contractor for a copy of their state license and their insurance and bond certificates. Be wary of out-of-state “storm chasers” ― contractors who swoop into town after a big storm. Once you settle on a contractor, ask them to give you a written repair estimate after a thorough inspection of the damage.

TIP 5: Be prepared for the insurance adjuster’s visit with your list of damages and supporting documentation.

When the adjuster comes to assess your damage, be ready with your list of damages, photos, receipts and documentation. Ask your contractor if he or she will also come to your home when the insurance adjuster is there. Hopefully, the adjuster and contractor’s damage estimates are in line with each other and you will receive a full and just settlement to repair your property damage. If not, be prepared to obtain more estimates and challenge your insurance company. Important to remember: the insurance company adjuster is not working for you… they’re working for the insurance company.

Prepare for the insurance adjuster’s visit.
Know the duties of your insurance company.

TIP 6: Know how to recognize insurance bad faith.

Insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith when settling insurance claims. Simply put, they can’t look for ways to cut corners or cheat you out of full and just compensation for the losses covered under your insurance policy. Insurance company obligations to policyholders include:

  • Promptly responding to your claim
  • Performing a thorough, objective investigation
  • Informing you of all coverage issues
  • Paying or denying your claim in writing
  • Preparing detailed repair estimates
  • Providing you with all needed forms
  • Paying any and all undisputed amounts that are owed

If you believe your insurance company is not treating you fairly, consider contacting an experienced insurance attorney to review the language of your insurance policy, assess the damage to your home or business and evaluate the reason for your insurance company’s decision.

TIP 7: Have a backup plan in the event your claim is denied, delayed or underpaid.

If your insurance company denies your claim, offers an unreasonable settlement or delays your payment, know that you still have options for receiving fair compensation for your loss. Your backup plan should include speaking with an experienced insurance attorney to review your claim and determine if you have grounds to fight the insurance company for the maximum compensation allowed under your policy.

Seek legal help for denied, delayed or underpaid insurance claims.

Our Goal: Achieve the maximum compensation allowed under your insurance policy.

Our fees will never exceed any award paid to you.

How much is my case worth?

Every claim is different. Whether your home or business has been destroyed by hail, hurricane, tornado or flood, our insurance attorneys have seen it all. We understand insurance disputes and we know how to recognize when an insurance company is acting in bad faith. Contact us to discuss the details of your insurance claim.

Do I really need a lawyer?

Now is not the time to go it alone. Our team of attorneys is dedicated to providing aggressive and thorough representation to home and business owners in order to receive fair compensation from their insurance carrier. Even experienced and savvy property owners are subject to insurance company tactics and are often tempted to accept a low-ball settlement just to get their home or business repaired. Don’t leave money on the table. Contact us today to ensure you are being treated fairly by your insurance company.

How much will it cost?

The last thing you need to worry about is how to pay for a lawyer when your home or business has been damaged or destroyed. We’ll handle your case on a contingency basis, which means you never owe us any out-of-pocket fees or expenses. We only get paid if we recovery money for you ― either through settlement or a trial.