Hurricane Matthew has come and gone, leaving a path of destruction along the Florida coast. Widespread flooding and property damage have left many homeowners to file storm insurance claims in an effort to rebuild and move on with their lives. Unfortunately, the claims process does not always yield a sufficient settlement and claimants may be left fighting to ensure their voices are heard. If you have been affected by hurricane damage, or wish to prepare for future storms, it is vital to know what steps to take in order to protect the value of your insurance claim.
5 tips for maximizing your settlement include:
- Inform the insurance company: You will need to call your insurer and provide them with a detailed account of what happened as well as what damages you have suffered. Be sure to send a written notice to your company and keep a copy on file for your own records. It is important to take this step as soon as you are able to do so.
- Know your policy: Insurance policies are not light reading, however, if you need to make a claim then you must know what your policy covers. If you don’t have a copy of your policy handy, request one from your insurer. If you do not understand a term set out in your contract, highlight it and ask for clarification. A knowledgeable attorney can help you to navigate this process.
- Document the damages: The overall strength of your claim can largely depend on your ability to accurately communicate the nature of your damages. Pictures, video, and witness testimony can provide powerful evidence to support your claim. Be sure to document any damages BEFORE you begin the clean-up and repair processes.
- Keep detailed files: In addition to documenting damages to your home, it is helpful to keep a file with all the information relevant to your claim. Take notes on every conversation with the insurance company. When did the call happen? What did you talk about? If an insurance adjuster visits your home, record their information as well as anything which was communicated.
- Mitigate property damage: After you document the extent of damages, take steps to prevent any further damages from occurring. For example, if the structural integrity of a section of your house has been compromised, perform fixes to prevent any further destruction. Additionally, most insurance policies will require that the homeowner takes some form of mitigating action.
What Happens If The Insurer Acts in Bad Faith?
You pay your premiums each month with the promise that should a storm hit your home, your claim will cover the damages. When an insurance company does not honor the terms of your policy and attempts to deny, delay, or undervalue your claim, they are said to be acting in bad faith. If you believe that your insurance company is treating you unfairly, waste no time in contacting The Morgan Law Group P.A. Our Miami bad faith insurance attorneys possess more than 25 years of combined experience and can deal with the insurance company on your behalf to secure the settlement that you deserve.
Call (844) 818-0774 to schedule a FREE consultation and speak to an attorney about your claim.