Hurricane season can be a tough time for residents down here in the south. And we still have a few months to go, since the official end of hurricane season is not until November 30.
Many people living on the coast ensure that they have an insurance policy to protect their property in case of a hurricane. In these cases, your insurance company sends out an adjuster to review the damage and determine how much coverage you receive. However, these insurance companies often only look to increase their profit.
So, what can you do to protect your right to compensation after a hurricane?
It might be the adjuster’s job to review your property. However, it is worth it to examine your property and the damage beforehand.
We know that the time after a hurricane can be stressful and traumatizing for you and your family. However, taking the time to evaluate the damage your property suffered is one of the best ways to protect your best interests.
Here are some essential tips:
1. Make an inventory of the damage
It can be painful to see your family home in disarray. And it is tempting to get down to business and start fixing everything up.
However, you must thoroughly document all of the damage before beginning any repairs. It can be helpful to:
- Write down a detailed account of the damage
- Take pictures or even video evidence of damages
Sometimes, adjusters cannot get out to your home until long after the storm has passed. So, it is critical to keep recorded proof of the damages to show them.
2. Figure out what caused the damage
Determining what specifically caused the damage can be a fundamental aspect of your inventory. For example, recording that high winds felled a tree, which damaged your home or car, is critical.
Proving the connection between the damage and the storm will help solidify your claim.
3. Get a second opinion
You must assess the damage and calculate the cost of the losses you suffered. This can help you know what to expect and protect your rights when the insurance adjuster gives the first offer—which is often unfairly low.
However, it can also be helpful to obtain a second opinion from a licensed contractor or inspector. Procuring a written bid that estimates the value of what you lost can help you understand how much you deserve and stand up to deceptive insurance companies.