Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand the process of hurricane damage claims a little better.
Q: My roof was significantly damaged during a hurricane. Will my insurance company cover the entire cost of a new roof?
First, you must have insurance coverage for hurricane damage. Next, the damage must have been caused by the hurricane, rather than damage that existed before the storm cause by normal wear and tear. If you have a covered loss, yes, the insurance company should cover the cost of your roof after you pay your deductible.
Q: How much money will I get from my insurance company?
Notify the insurance company as soon as possible after the storm. Do not fix the damage, other than repairs needed to prevent more damage. The insurance company will determine the value of any settlement based on the damage caused. If you’ve repaired the damage before the insurance company gets there, it may be harder to prove the full extent of your loss.
By way of example, if your roof is damaged during the hurricane, the insurance company will assess the scope of the loss while also considering the age of the roof. From there, the insurance company will make an offer. Ensure that you have a reputable roofer on your side to help you establish the amount of the damage. And if necessary, have an insurance claim lawyer take up the fight for you when the insurance company fails to act in good faith.
Q: What do I need to do if I want to file hurricane damage claims?
If you experience storm damage, or if any of your neighbors have discovered damage, have your property inspected as soon as possible by a reputable contractor. Contact your insurance company immediately. It is your responsibility to make hurricane damage claims. Do not delay in making hurricane damage claims. You want the insurance adjuster to inspect the property as soon as possible after the storm to see all of the damage.
Q: What should the contractor give me to help me make my insurance claim?
If you have hurricane damage to your home or business, contact a reputable contractor. The contractor should take photos and provide written documentation of the damage. They should provide you with a written proposal detailing their bid. Also, ask the contractor for proof of insurance. Lastly, your contractor should agree to be present at the inspection with your insurance adjuster if you will be making a claim.
Q: I have a commercial warehouse that was damaged by a recent tropical storm, causing roof damage and damage to my inventory. The insurance company only wants to repair part of my roof, but my contractor says the whole roof needs replacing. What can I do?
In this situation, you may want to hire an attorney. An attorney can arrange for an inspection with your contractor after confirming that you’ve hired someone reputable. Also, an attorney can go through your insurance policy to determine that you have coverage and that no exclusions apply.
An experience hurricane damage attorney can help you build a stronger case. An attorney can also research whether the insurance company’s decision to leave your roof damaged will violate building codes. An attorney can also bring in a roof consultant or experts, if necessary to help build your case. A hard working attorney can make that happen.
Q: I cannot live in my home. Will my insurance company pay for an apartment while my house is being repaired?
First, you must have coverage for this under your policy. Provided you have coverage for loss of use, fair rental value, or additional living expense, you will use that policy benefit to cover the cost of temporary housing. Generally speaking, there is a limited amount of time or a maximum sum of money that can be spent on an apartment. Keep these expenses to a minimum considering these may end up being out of pocket expenses.
This is another area where you may need an attorney to help you get full value. Depending on your policy language, your insurance company may be able to decide what is reasonable regarding how long you can stay in temporary housing or how much it can cost. Contact us today.