Hurricane Preparedness: It's Never Too Early
We still have six months until the start of hurricane season, but with another busy season predicted for 2022, homeowners should be prepared in case of a storm that causes damage. Hurricane Irma caused nearly $17.5 billion in insured losses and almost 1,000,000 total residential property damage claims. As a homeowner, there are a few things you can do before hurricane season comes to ensure.Review Your Insurance Policy
Coverage of hurricane claims is dependent on the type of policy you have. General property damage typically only covers damage related to wind or hail and leaves homeowners responsible to mitigate, or prevent further damage to their property, once the storm has left and it is safe to do so.
Damage caused by flooding may not be covered under your policy, unless you have separate flood insurance. Many Floridians are required to obtain flood insurance due to their homes being situated in flood zones, but even if you aren't located in a flood zone, it may be a good idea to retain the coverage anyway.Prepare Your Home
Before hurricane season starts, it's a good idea to make sure you prune or remove any overgrown trees, plants, or other foliage that could become a hazard in the event a storm comes. In the event a storm is forecasted to make landfall in Florida, make sure you take photos and videos of your property before the storm arrives, just in case there is any subsequent damage to your property. Additionally, take all precautions necessary to protect your property, such as boarding up windows, placing sandbags down, and bringing outdoor furniture and decor inside. /p>Document Everything
Once it is safe to do so and the storm has cleared, assess your property for any damage the storm may have caused. If you find damage, contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible and document all damage by photo or video.
If it becomes necessary to prevent additional damage to your home, for instance, if there is a leak in your roof and water is coming into your home, ensure you comply with your policy and do what you can to prevent further damage. Anything done to prevent further damage or make temporary repairs, such as taking out wet drywall or mold mitigation, should be documented with photos or videos so your insurance company's adjuster is able to adequately assess the damage; make sure to keep the pieces of wall or pipe or anything else that's removed so the insurance company may have an opportunity to review it. Ensure all receipts and paperwork are kept as well.
In the event your insurance company delays your payment, denies your claim, or fails to adequately compensate you for damages you've suffered, that's where our office steps in and will fight to ensure your claim is appropriately handled and you are reimbursed for the damages to your home.
This article does not constitute legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.