Hurricanes can be devastating natural disasters, causing significant damage to homes and properties. When disaster strikes, it’s natural to seek assistance to recover your losses, and for many, this means filing a hurricane insurance claim. However, the process can be complex, and there are certain actions you should avoid ensuring a smoother and more successful claim experience. Here’s what NOT to do during a hurricane claim:
Do NOT Delay Reporting Your Claim.
One of the most common mistakes people make during the aftermath of a hurricane is delaying the reporting of their insurance claim. Time is crucial when it comes to documenting damages and filing claims. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to prove that the damage was a direct result of the hurricane. Fl Law now requires you to file (or re-open) a claim within 1 year of the Date of Loss; any supplemental claims must be filed within 18 months of the Date of Loss.
Do NOT Underestimate the Damage.
Hurricanes can cause extensive damage, even if it’s not immediately visible. It’s essential not to underestimate the extent of the destruction. Thoroughly inspect your property, including the roof, walls, foundation, and interior. Take photos and videos of the damage to provide visual evidence to support your claim. Failing to document all damages can lead to under-compensation or denial of your claim.
Do NOT Attempt Permanent Repairs Prior to the Insurance Company’s Inspection.
While the desire to start repairs immediately is understandable, it’s crucial to avoid attempting major repairs without consulting your insurance company first. Temporary repairs to prevent further damage are acceptable and required to prevent the damage from getting worse, but making significant repairs without proper approval can jeopardize your claim. Your insurer may need to assess the damage before authorizing repairs, so they can ascertain the cause of loss and make a determination as to whether damage from that loss is covered under the terms of your policy.
Do NOT Disregard Your Insurance Policy’s Terms.
Every insurance policy is unique, with different coverage limits, deductibles, and provisions. Not understanding your policy can lead to costly mistakes. Review your policy thoroughly and consult with your insurance agent or attorney to ensure you fully understand the coverage and any limitations. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions throughout the claims process.
Navigating a hurricane insurance claim can be a challenging process, but knowing what NOT to do can make all the difference. By avoiding these mistakes, you can improve your chances of a successful claim and a faster recovery. Remember that seeking guidance from an experienced attorney at ILG can be invaluable in ensuring your rights are protected during this challenging time. Your property and financial well-being deserve the utmost attention, and avoiding these pitfalls can help you achieve a smoother claim process and ultimately rebuild your life more quickly. Contact us today!