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Tornadoes are no laughing matter. Being caught off guard by something that can cause substantial damage at a moment’s notice is scary. Tornadoes can occur any time of year and can develop from something as simple as a strong thunderstorm. When you’re faced with the trauma of going through a tornado, getting potential property insurance claims in order may be the last thing on your mind.

Recovering After the Tornado
Knowing what your insurance policy covers is key, especially once you start paying attention to the damage. After you’ve secured yourself and your loved ones, the last thing you want to face is a denied claim. These steps can point you in the right direction:

  1. Call the insurance company as soon as you can.
    To avoid missing the deadlines for filing a claim, it’s best to call the insurance company and file as soon as you can. Make sure you review your policy before submitting the claim to avoid possible rejection.
  2. Assess the damage and take notes.
    Take notes and pictures of everything you see. You should also start a log of who you speak with, the date, time, and what the conversation was about. Before and after photos are important, especially if you must make minor repairs. You may need this in the future to help support your claim.
  3. Secure your property.
    Depending on the extent of the damage after a tornado, you may have to make minor repairs. Keep a detailed record of all expenses and when they occurred. If your property is uninhabitable, taking steps to secure what you can, with photos, is important.
  4. Take inventory of your property.
    Keep a running inventory of your property and its contents. Any receipts you can gather to support your documentation is helpful.
  5. Call your utilities
    If you are forced to relocate, make sure you contact the utility company to shut the power off. This helps avoid paying bills on property you aren’t currently living in.

These are just the immediate steps to take, but there are many others to ensure your safety and the replacement of your property, whether it’s items that need replacing, or if you must rebuild. The insurance company will send an adjuster out to look at the property, but that doesn’t mean they will come back with an equitable offer.

Why Would Property Insurance Claims Get Denied?
There are many reasons why a claim may be denied. The policy may not include damage for certain aspects of the damage, the insurance company may feel that there isn’t enough evidence, or the assessment of the damage may be disputed. Just because the insurance company denies the claim doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated. This just means you may have to work a little harder to be heard, which delays the process. Before you file an appeal, it’s best to contact a property insurance lawyer. Tennessee has specific insurance regulations that must be followed, and an insurance lawyer understands how they work.

Knowing the Regulations in Tennessee
Tennessee is very clear about any property insurance claims-related regulations. This is why hiring an independent public adjuster can assist in ensuring you have a fair estimate of your damages. A home insurance claims attorney helps with due diligence to keep things above board.

An insurance attorney understands the rules of engagement and nuances of the insurance system in Tennessee. Once you make contact, they begin the process by looking into your insurance policy and what you have on the claim. This helps in laying a firm foundation. They work with public adjusters to avoid bias from the insurance company. The attorney also conducts extensive research to make sure nothing is missed or overlooked. There are many instances where claimants are underpaid because they missed a few things or deadlines.

Using An Insurance Attorney Before Filing the Claim
If you decide to use an insurance attorney before making the call to the insurance company, you may be able to get ahead of any pushback. Tornadoes are unexpected and devastating events. The attorney works on your behalf to alleviate additional stress. If your property has substantial damage, this may be the best solution.

The attorney and team will work with the adjuster to assess the damages and come up with the best figure for settlement based on the findings. They will formally submit the property insurance claim to the insurance company and work as your spokesperson throughout the negotiations. Property owners who work with attorneys on their property insurance claims are in a much better position to fight for what they want. There are many instances when tornadoes leave the claimants with nothing left. While it is sad, insurance companies are in the business of making money – for them.

A public adjuster is trained to look for the expected and unexpected, looking beyond the obvious. There are many areas affected by tornadoes that may not immediately show up. The adjuster knows what to look for, what to test, and indicators of additional problems that may surface during the rebuilding process.

Making the Right Choice
Don’t sell yourself short. Keep your mind at ease by hiring an insurance claims attorney who will put your best interests first. The laws of Tennessee are clear and straightforward, but that doesn’t mean you will avoid confusion with the insurance company. You don’t have to go through this alone though. Our team is ready and waiting to make sure you get a fair and equitable settlement based on the true costs of your damages – not what the insurance company wants to pay.

Making the right choice doesn’t come in a pretty package. You may have to go through a series of hurdles before you get to the right source. Once you understand how things work in Tennessee, partnering with an attorney who can protect your interests and fight for your rights makes a difference.

If you need assistance with a property insurance claim after a tornado in Nashville, call The Morgan Law Group today!