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Storm Damage Claims

Naples is a very high-risk hurricane zone and a moderate-risk tornado zone. Homeowners will want to have insurance to cover the cost of home repairs, additional living expenses, and the cost of lost valuables in the wake of a storm. Unfortunately, even with insurance, obtaining compensation isn’t always easy, as some insurers look for ways to minimize payouts or even deny a claim altogether. However, working with a specialized storm damage claims attorney from The Morgan Law Group can help you avoid problems while increasing your odds of a favorable outcome.

What to do After a Storm in Naples

Once the storm has passed, and it’s safe to go outside, there are several things you can do to streamline the storm damage claims process.

  • Take Photos and Videos
    Take photos and videos of the damage. It’s a good idea to photograph and film the house from various angles. You may even want to take pictures of your yard if you feel the images would be relevant to your claim.
  • File a Storm Damage Claim
    It’s always a good idea to file a storm damage claim as soon as possible. Having an adjuster come to your property right away will help prove your case that the damage was caused by the storm.
  • Collect Documentation
    Collect all the documentation you need to support your claim. Make sure you have your insurance paperwork handy as well as appraisals of your home or any insured belongings damaged during the storm. Providing your insurance company with all the documentation it needs to decide on your claim will speed up the claims process and increase your chances of receiving compensation.
  • Do Emergency Repairs
    If your roof is damaged, tarp it as quickly as possible. Even minor damage can allow water into your home and cause structural damage that may be difficult if not impossible to repair. You’ll also want to board up broken windows, pile up any debris in the yard, chop down damaged trees that could fall on your home, and remove water-damaged furnishings from the house to prevent a mold infestation. If you hire someone to do these jobs for you, keep the receipts and turn them in with your insurance paperwork.
  • Talk to a Contractor
    You’ll need someone to do the repair work, and finding the right person as quickly as possible is in your best interest. Having a price quote on hand can help your insurance adjuster understand the extent of needed repairs. What’s more, your contractor may want to be present when the insurance adjuster comes to your home in order to ask about which repairs are covered by the policy.
  • Hire a Storm Damage Attorney
    A storm damage attorney can help you file your claim properly to avoid a denial. He or she will also walk through your home with the insurance adjuster to ensure that all forms of damage are taken into account. Furthermore, your attorney can prevent any attempts by the adjuster to underestimate the cost of needed repairs.

What to Expect During the Storm Damage Claims Process

Once you’ve filed a storm damage claim, your insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your case. The insurance adjuster should contact you in about 24 hours after the assignment to schedule a visit to examine your home. Once your adjuster has submitted his or her report, the insurance agency will make a decision on your claim. They may agree and pay compensation, offer less money than you were expecting, or deny your claim altogether.

If you’ve received an unfair settlement offer or claim denial, your storm damage attorney will look over the information provided by the insurer to determine the next best step. Your attorney will most likely contact the insurance agency, point out why the low offer or denial is unacceptable, and negotiate a better outcome on your behalf. If this doesn’t work, your attorney can file a claim against your insurance company in court.

Dealing with the aftermath of a powerful storm is not an easy experience, especially if your home sustained significant damage and/or your belongings were lost or damaged. Unfortunately, many insurance companies make matters worse by looking for every excuse to either deny a claim or minimize payouts. Having a good storm damage attorney will help you avoid making mistakes when you file a claim. Your attorney will also represent you as the adjuster analyzes storm damage to your home, and he or she will fight on your behalf for the best possible settlement. Contact us at your convenience for a free consultation if you need to file a storm damage claim or want to make sure you have legal help on hand for a future claim.