Top 10 Things to do After a Hurricane
You pick up a thing or two after dealing with hurricane claims for over 14 years. Here’s a list of our top 10 things to do after a hurricane:
- Immediately file your insurance claim if you have damage. Make sure you write down the contact information for the claims adjuster assigned to your claim and the proper method to submit documentation (mail, email, fax, etc…).
- Document. Document. Document. We cannot stress enough the importance of taking numerous photographs of the damage to your business or home as soon as possible and throughout the claims process. This includes not only property damage but damage to your contents (clothes, furniture, electronics, appliances, etc.). Contents claims are often overlooked and people end up leaving a lot of money on the table.
- Keep receipts of additional expenses incurred due to evacuating or making repairs. Send everything to your claims adjuster for reimbursement.
- Mitigate your damages. Remember, you have a legal duty to mitigate your damages. This could be tarping your roof or more depending on the extent of damages. Submit the invoices to your claims adjuster for reimbursement.
- If practical, call your claims adjuster and seek approval to start remediation. The quicker you get the wet, porous materials out of your home, the less chance of additional damages. Try to get approved to rip out wet carpet and ceiling/wall drywall as soon as you can. Dehumidifiers will help get the moisture out that can lead to mold issues.
- Your claims adjuster will assign an independent field adjuster to come out to your property to assess the damage and write a report for the extent and costs to repair the damages. If you feel you have more damage or it will cost more to repair then the insurance adjuster is telling you, contact us immediately for a FREE claim review.
- It is important to note you do NOT have to wait on the field adjuster to come to your home before you get your own estimates or public adjuster to write you a favorable report on the extent and costs to repair the damages. The quicker you can turn in proof of your loss the quicker the time period will be for the insurance company to issue payment on your claim. See our other post regarding the duty of insurance companies to timely pay your claim in good faith and the severe penalties for violations.
- Fight. Fight. Fight. Hold your insurance company accountable. Demand they pay to repair ALL of the damage to your business or home. You have paid your premiums for years, make sure they uphold their end.
- There will be an enormous influx of out of state companies in our area after a hurricane trying to get repair work. Make sure they show you proof of insurance and proper licenses before they do any work to your property. Get the terms of the contract in writing and get receipts for everything paid. Get a warranty on their work for at least 1 year. Stay local as much as possible! If there is ever any warranty work, you want to be sure you will be able to track down the contractor. Contractor Licenses can be verified at Online Contractor Search – LSLBC (louisiana.gov)
- Stay patient. The process will move, but it may move slowly depending on the amount of claims and damage. Stay on top of your claims adjuster to make sure they are moving your file.
If you have any questions or need referrals for roofers or remediation companies, give us a call at no charge. We are here to help.
Sye J. Broussard, J.D., M.B.A.
7605 Park Avenue | Houma, Louisiana 70364
Geaux Local | Geaux with Experience | Geaux with Results
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