Property Damage Checklist: What to Look for After a Natural Disaster
As many Florida residents can attest to after encountering Hurricane Irma, natural disasters leave a wake of destruction in their path. So much so that these individuals have to deal with the unfortunate situation of having their property damaged or destroyed as a result.
It’s understandable that the primary focus for a homeowner is making sure their property is okay following a natural disaster. However, there should also be a lot of consideration of what needs to be one to help file an insurance claim.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows what to look for when filing an insurance claim for property damage after a natural disaster. There are certain things that you should ensure you have in order to have the highest chance of a successful claim.
Here are some things you should consider for a checklist following a natural disaster:
Parts of Your Property to Check
Some natural disasters are strong enough to cause significant damage to a person’s property. So much so that the overall scope is enough evidence to help with a claim for property damage. In some cases, though, the damage isn’t as significant and there are certain areas to check for damage.
This can include:
- The foundation
- Water damage in the walls or ceiling
- The roof
- Siding of the home
- Under the home
- The attic
These are all areas of the home that can be seriously damaged due to a natural disaster, and for some, the problems remain hidden from plain sight. They must be thoroughly examined in order to file a claim.
You may experience cracks in the foundation, water damage, or in the worst case scenario, your home may be completely destroyed in the aftermath of a natural disaster. This makes having the right insurance much more important.
Evidence of Loss Is Necessary
Before a natural disaster even strikes, you should have as many photos of your property as possible. This is your first piece of proof regarding what your home looks like, what items you have, and can help place value on your property overall.
After the natural disaster, you can take pictures of the property to show what exactly was damaged or lost. This is a great way of showing the insurance company that you have experienced significant loss and should be properly compensated.
Keep a Copy of Your Insurance Policy
Despite the insurance company claiming that they’re there for their customers, you must remember that the insurance company is still a business and they are looking out for their own profits. As such, they don’t always approve claims.
If you have your insurance policy, you’ll know exactly what is covered under the policy and what you should be compensated for after a natural disaster. You can use this to prove to your insurance company that you are in fact eligible to have your claim approved.
Document Your Claim from Day One
From the very moment you contact your insurance company to file a claim, you want to take time to fully document the process. To do this, you should ensure that you are taking note of the following:
- Make sure you’re documenting the dates of which you contacted the insurance company.
- Keep a log of summaries of your conversations so you can look back at what was said by each party, any statements that the insurance company made, and what information they give regarding your insurance policy.
- To ensure you know how to back up your story, ensure you have the name, titles, and contact information of all individuals you have discussed your claim with. This holds these individuals accountable for the statements they make.
Having documentation of your conversations protects you should the insurance company try to say that you made a statement that you really didn’t.
Make Sure You Know What Time Limits You May Have
In some cases, it’s important to know that insurance companies may place time limits on how long after the natural disaster you have to file a claim. Without knowing this, you could potentially miss the deadline and have your claim denied.
Determine the Cost of Living Without Your Property
Property damage may make some other expenses necessary and add on to your financial burden. This includes items such as hotels, food, vehicles, or gas that you need when you’re without your personal property.
Hiring a Florida Property Damage Attorney
Property damage insurance claims can be difficult to navigate on your own. There are a number of obstacles that must be overcome in order to be successful. This doesn’t include the insurance company trying to protect their own profit margins.
One of the most effective ways to get through the process in a positive manner is hiring a Florida property damage lawyer who can help you with the proper documentation, timelines, and handling any legal matters that arise.
At Strems Law Firm, we boast more than 125 combined years of experience in complex litigation. We work hard to serve our communities because we know how serious natural disasters can be and what it takes for families to start over.
Our caring attorneys prioritize your best interests. This is why we offer free in-depth consultations with our attorneys and operate in multiple offices throughout Florida to help suit your needs. Even better, you don’t pay us unless we win on your behalf.
Trust our tried and tested steps to success: Sympathy, Trustworthiness, Experience,Passion, and Solutions. We’re here for you when you need us most.
If you need to file a claim for property damage, or appeal a denial of your claim, we’re here to help. Call us at [[INVALID_TOKEN]] to discuss your needs with our skilled team today.