Many homeowners make the mistake of believing that their insurance company is on their side, and filing for and receiving benefits for damage caused by a hurricane will be a painless process. Unfortunately, most insurance providers are more concerned about their bottom line than they are about their policyholders. Because of this, the insured should take extra precautions to help insurers pay their claims for hurricane damages.
The importance of having everything documented cannot be overemphasized. An extremely prepared homeowner will have pictures of the home before the damage occurs. Yet even if a homeowner does not have these photos, they should take photographs and videos of the damage as soon as they can safely do so after the damage occurs. Also, even if an item is damaged beyond repair by the hurricane, the homeowner should not get rid of it until the insurance company clears them to do so.
Know Your Policy
Homeowners should know the terms of their insurance policies. What the policy does cover is spelled out by the policy. A homeowner should also be aware of how their deductible is calculated. In Florida, it is typically based on a percentage. For example, if a homeowner has $200,000 worth of coverage, and their percentage is 2%, the homeowner will have to pay $4,000 before the insurance will pay for the rest of the damage.
Be Wary of Scams
After a natural tragedy like a hurricane, unconscionable scammers come out in droves to take advantage of those that have suffered a loss. Homeowners must be wary to prevent falling prey to these con artists. If the quote received for a repair seems too good to be true, it probably is. Homeowners should ensure that anyone that works on their home is licensed and insured and not be too eager to sign on with a company that makes empty promises.
Mitigate Your Damages
Homeowners should take steps to mitigate their damages. When they do not, the insurer may refuse to pay the full amount needed to make the necessary repairs. Mitigating damages means taking reasonable steps to prevent more damage from occurring. For example, if a hurricane tears a hole in the side of the home, which allows rainwater to accumulate in the wall, once the storm is over and it is safe to do so, the homeowner should cover the hole to prevent more water from getting in the hole. Failure to do so can cause the home to sustain even more damage before the necessary repairs are made.
Contact an Experienced Florida Insurance Attorney at Martin Law Firm, P.L.
For assistance with all your hurricane coverage legal needs, contact our firm and speak with one of our attorneys. We provide the assistance needed when insurance companies fail to pay valid hurricane coverage claims made by policyholders.