Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Louisianans as they struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
If you have damage to your home due to a hurricane (including Ida), you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, unsure of where to begin as you look to file a claim. The process can be complicated, and with emotions running high, a challenging time for many.
From our team of personal injury attorneys at Pierce & Shows, here are six simple steps to filing an insurance claim after a hurricane.
1.) Notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible.
Once you and your family are safe, contact your insurance provider immediately, documenting when you reached them and how (phone, email, pop-up help station, agency, etc.). Follow up as needed.
Your insurance company will provide you with further details, especially regarding loss of use (if your home is not livable). They will then schedule an adjuster to come to your property to assess the damage.
2.) Review your homeowner’s insurance coverage in detail.
It’s a good time to know what coverages you have. Take a look at your policy and declarations page, and be familiar with your coverage, deductibles, and limits.
Review sections regarding wind, rain, and storm damage in detail, noting what will be covered. This will help you understand the adjuster’s assessment and recognize areas where the evaluation may be lacking.
3.) Write down your adjuster’s information and employment details.
It is important to obtain the adjuster’s full name and contact information by asking for a business card. It is also important to ask the adjuster who they are employed by.
Does your insurance company hire the adjuster? Does your adjuster work independently? Or, is your adjuster “on loan” from another insurance company?
Believe it or not, that does happen quite frequently, as there can be a shortage of adjusters in certain areas after significant weather events like Hurricane Ida.
4.) Accompany your adjuster when inspecting the damage to your property.
When your adjuster walks your property, walk alongside them, seeing the damage from their point of view. Feel free to ask questions and point out any areas that the adjuster may have missed.
Remember to look at your property through the lens of your policy. Then, review the adjuster’s report and offer – line by line, amount by amount.
5.) Put your differences in writing.
If there are areas of the adjuster’s report that you disagree with, identify the specific problem and your desired resolution. Be polite, concise, and professional in your letter. Be sure to keep a copy.
As long as you are still within your policy limits, you can include a contractor’s estimate for repairs if you feel the amount offered isn’t suitable for what repairs are needed.
6.) Keep all receipts.
Receipts are how you will receive reimbursement for your living expenses, for items you lost, and for some repairs. Without your receipts, it will be a hassle to be refunded by your insurance company.
Have your receipts stored aside, neatly marking and maintaining your files so that you can provide what is needed quickly when asked.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for finding ways to skimp out on paying. They often lowball reimbursements for repairs and belongings, especially after catastrophic events that negatively impact their profit margins.
When you have extensive damage to your home, it is best to hire an experienced attorney who will fight to ensure you receive all you are entitled to.
Let Pierce & Shows Help You Through This Difficult Time
Here at Pierce & Shows, we are an established and trusted law firm known for helping the families of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With over 60 years of combined expertise, we consider it a privilege to serve our community – especially when they need us most.
When a hurricane hits and your home is damaged, you can trust us to be fighting by your side. Contact us today for a free consultation.