Hurricanes are known for violent weather, unpredictability and structure damage, as well as the loss of life. Leaving the region is always the instruction from public officials to protect life and limb, but rebuilding a life can be more difficult than rebuilding a home following hurricane damage if the insurance carrier is being unpredictable also. There are a few steps a resident of a flood-prone area will definitely want to take if they are determined to keep living in a coastal hurricane region.
KNOW YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY BEFOREHAND
Sometimes the cheapest insurance premium rate on a property is not the best policy. It is also important to understand the zoning status of the insured property. Typical property insurance does not always cover flood damage and companies that have multiple properties in a hurricane zone will have a comprehensive assessment plan in place to deal with these numerous claims. Always make sure your insurance company is financially stable with a good record of paying claims and that the property is covered by hurricane and flood damage.
PROTECT FAMILY HEIR LOOMS AND ALL LEGAL DOCUMENTS
In the contemporary digital world it is relatively easy to make digital duplicates of everything irreplaceable. Put all legal documents concerning personal real estate in a protective place and make backup copies. If the insurance company is contesting claims vigorously the documents may be necessary. These items should also include amortization schedules on financed property as well as tax assessment documents on real estate assets. All homeowners should have a good working knowledge of what is covered in their insurance policies.
LEAVE THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS TO THE PROFESSIONALS
Recovering from a devastating event often means starting a new life. There is always a chance that insurance protection will not be sufficient to rebuild in the same location. Individuals that own property that is not financed may want to rebuild or repair any damaged structures, but hurricane damage can be totally destructive. Also, insurance companies that prolong settlements can also be held liable for unnecessary delays. Insurance companies typically use slow payment processes as a form of cost control. An experienced attorney who understands how to proceed with a hurricane damage property insurance claim will know what to expect and how to formulate a solid case for both compensatory and punitive damages.
RENTERS INSURANCE CLAIMS
Many people involved in a hurricane live in rental property. These individuals routinely move to different locations afterwards, whether it is the same community or not. Renters with significant valuable personal possessions should make sure that any coverage they carry includes hurricane damage. Generally, if the structure is covered then the tenants personal contents should be covered also. When purchasing a policy it is always a good idea to make sure the policy documents this protection. With the exception of sentimental items, many renters find rebuilding a life after a hurricane is an easier process than for those attached to their property for whatever reason. Renter contents insurance claims can also be problematic when an insurance company is inundated. It is important to know your policy.
Recovering from something as devastating as a hurricane is often a long process. Anyone living in a region susceptible to major property damage from a weather event should recognize the possibility during the hurricane season. All residents should do some research for an effective and established law firm that knows the region and has handled multiple claims over the years. Being prepared is an excellent way to begin the obvious cleanup and rebuilding process when the winds die down.
Ann Bailey has lived in the hurricane path along the southeastern coast and files this article in conjunction with the property insurance attorneys at Doyle Raizner, LLP. Offering their clients their extended knowledge of the property insurance claim dynamics, the law firm assists with both commercial and homeowner damage claims and any subsequent dispute processes clients may face.
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