After Hurricane Ian, you may have to rebuild your home or business and deal with property damage, including cars, appliances, and furnishings. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, it’s easy to feel helpless. But you can take steps to mitigate the damage and prevent further loss of your valuable property and belongings by filing an insurance claim and federal disaster assistance.
Working with an attorney like Dell’Armi Law helps you get the most out of your insurance coverage and helps cover damages over what your policy will pay.
Filing an Insurance Claim for Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian is causing widespread damage throughout the U.S., and it will likely take several weeks before the power becomes restored. If you need to file an insurance claim, we’ve put together these helpful tips to help guide you through the process, so your claim is processed as quickly as possible.
Take Photos of All Property Damage
When you make an insurance claim, you’re asking your insurance company to pay for everything damaged in the storm — from roof damage to furniture destruction — and to cover any other expenses related to the disaster.
To get your money back, you need proof: photos of your home or business — ideally taken before and after the storm — will provide the evidence you need to file an insurance claim (and a lawsuit if it comes to that). Without them, there’s no proof that you suffered the damages you’re claiming.
Photos are your best friend when filing an insurance claim if you have suffered damages from Hurricane Ian. A photo is worth a thousand words. And in many cases, it’s worth more than that.
First, you want to keep track of the cost of repairs. Take pictures of every damaged item and any other evidence of the storm’s impact on your home or business. Keep receipts for all related costs, including temporary housing, transportation, food, and supplies.
You’ll also need to document personal losses not covered by insurance — like lost income from missed work days or a damaged vehicle that needs repairs before you can drive it again.
The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be when you file an insurance claim (and a lawsuit if it comes to that). Without photos taken before and after the storm, there’s no proof that you suffered the damages you’re claiming.
File an Insurance Claim Promptly
If you’re wondering how to file an insurance claim after a natural disaster, the easiest way is to be proactive. If your home was damaged, take photos of the damage before it gets worse and ensure that you have all of your documents (such as receipts) in electronic or hard copy form. When you get ahold of your agent as soon as possible, they should be able to help with the process. Be prepared for any delays that may come along the way, and enlist the help of an attorney if necessary.
Aside from saving you time and money, quickly filing a claim can also protect your rights. If you change your mind about the extent of damages later, an insurance company might try to argue that they didn’t occur during the storm. That’s where all those photos and videos come into play.
Filing an insurance claim can be confusing, but it’s essential to do it right to ensure you get the total compensation you deserve. If your insurer makes unreasonable demands or delays in payment, our attorneys can help you with any legal action.
Contact Your Mortgage Company
Contact your mortgage company as they may help pay some costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged items under certain circumstances. However, there are limits to this type of coverage. It usually depends on the type of loan and type of financed property.
Federal and Non-Governmental Disaster Assistance
While you wait for the insurance company to process your claim, you can also file for federal disaster assistance from FEMA. Depending on where you live and how much damage you suffered, you may be entitled to a grant, a loan, a tax deduction, or a tax deadline extension. Some programs also offer financial counseling or even flood-proofing your home.
Some programs also offer financial counseling or even flood-proofing your home. Organizations like the Salvation Army, Red Cross, and other community groups can also lend a helping hand by providing food, medical supplies, and other items. You may also be able to find shelter through a local or federal relief group.
Know Your Rights When It Comes To Hurricane Ian Damage Claims
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to avoid paying out on claims. If they can find any loophole or technicality in the contract, they will use it as an excuse not to pay out what they owe you. It is especially true after a hurricane.
The insurance company may say that you don’t qualify for coverage because of some technicality with the policy that only an attorney would understand. Contacting a qualified legal professional who can fight on your behalf and ensure you get every penny owed to you as quickly and efficiently as possible is crucial.
Hiring a Hurricane Claim Attorney
The first thing a reasonable attorney will do is review your policy with you and make sure everything is adequately covered. They will fight on your behalf to ensure you get paid what you deserve if there’s any confusion or doubt about what’s covered.
A hurricane claim attorney can help you recover what your insurance won’t pay by negotiating with them on your behalf. They can also take legal action against an insurer if necessary — but insurance companies will settle most cases before it comes to that.
Are you looking for answers after Hurricane Ian? An attorney can help you navigate the legal process. To learn more about how an attorney can help you, contact us at 888-ARMI-LAW or click here.