Dealing with Insurance After a StormLast updated on: September 19, 2021
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with Zinda law group After a Storm
Hurricanes and other natural disasters are some of the most destructive forces on Earth, with the ability to destroy entire communities in a matter of hours, or potentially even minutes. Unfortunately, the stress of dealing with the damage from a storm is only beginning at the point that the storm occurs and may go on for several months. Filing a storm damage insurance claim can be a complicated process and may require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to make sure that your rights are protected.
If you and your family are dealing with storm damage to your home, call (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group. Our experienced attorneys can guide you all the way from filing the initial paperwork to negotiating with the insurance company, effectively arguing with them so that you may receive maximum compensation for all your damages.
what to do after sustaining storm damage
After your home has been damaged by a storm, it is important to navigate the process in an efficient and knowledgeable way. There are many mistakes that a homeowner might make that could lead to them getting less than what they are actually entitled to. Thus, it is critical to have a basic understanding of the steps a homeowner should take after sustaining damage to their home in a storm.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
First, contacting your insurance company to start the process as soon as possible after the damage is incurred is critical. Insurance companies may have rules for how long you have to file a claim, and waiting too long can result in you receiving nothing for otherwise compensable damage. In addition, waiting too long may give an insurance company a chance to argue that your damages are not actually related to the storm, or became worse due to the delay. Make sure to take notes of the dates and times that you communicated with your insurance company, as well as what you talked about.
2. Document Everything
Next, make sure to take pictures of all of the damage in your home, regardless of how small it may seem. Take pictures from multiple different angles and be as thorough as possible. When filing an insurance claim, it is always better to be overprepared than underprepared.
In addition to taking pictures, make sure to obtain and keep receipts for all payments that you make related to the storm. These could include receipts for hotel stays, laundry bills, food bills, and even payments you make for temporary repairs that you make before a more permanent solution can be found.
3. Try to Prevent Further Damage
Do your best to try and save any damaged property by drying it out as best you can or moving it to an area where it will be safer from further damage. If there is an area of your home that was damaged and is now open to the elements, do your best to cover it with a tarp or other covering. Insurance companies may attempt to reduce their liability by claiming that damage was made worse after a homeowner could have taken action to minimize the damage to their homes but failed to do so.
4. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Call the personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group for a free consultation about the details of your case. When dealing with a storm damage insurance claim that could restore your family to where you were before the storm, there is too much on the line to move forward without at least speaking with an expert first. Zinda Law Group attorneys do not charge anything for a consultation and in fact won’t charge you anything until they win your case for you, so there is nothing to lose by reaching out to schedule an initial meeting.
dealing with insurance companies after a storm
Many insurance companies try to portray themselves as friendly neighborhood companies who always have the best interests of their customers at heart. However, it is important to remember throughout the storm damage insurance claim process that insurance companies are for-profit businesses, which means that they exist to make as much profit as they possibly can. In order to do this, they aim to take in as much in premiums as they can and pay out as little in claims as they can. This includes your storm damage insurance claim.
Given the position that homeowners are in when it comes to dealing with insurance companies, it is best to keep the information that you relay to them as minimal as possible. Make sure to file a claim quickly, but don’t add additional information. Speak with an attorney near you as quickly as you possibly can to get a better idea of how to handle these communications moving forward.
roofing insurance claims for storm damage
Roofs are clearly an important part of the home, as they play a critical part in protecting the interior of the home as well as its inhabitants from the elements. They can also potentially be vulnerable to damage during a severe storm. Depending on the type of materials used in constructing the roof, they can be damaged in a couple of different ways: heavy rainfall, hail, or other debris can impact a roof and cause severe damage, and the wind itself can cause damage, in some cases removing the entire roof from a home. Because roofs are so important, be sure to begin the process of filing a roofing insurance claim for storm damage as soon as you can.
does auto insurance cover storm damage?
The short, unsatisfying answer to this question is that it depends on what kind of car insurance you have. Typically, comprehensive car insurance will cover storm damage, so if you have comprehensive coverage, you will likely be covered. However, not every state requires motorists to have comprehensive coverage, so if you live in one these states, determining whether auto insurance covers storm damage will depend upon exactly what is covered by your policy.
what tactics might my insurance company try?
As mentioned above, insurance companies aim to pay you as little as they are legally required to after your home has been damaged in a storm. There are many strategies that they might use to meet this goal.
Using Your Words Against You
When speaking with an insurance company, assume that everything that you say is being recorded and analyzed as to how it could potentially be used against you. When you are speaking with an insurance adjuster, it is important to use your words carefully; do not volunteer information that is necessary to move your claim forward, and be careful when agreeing to the version of events presented to you by an adjuster, because any sort of agreement could potentially be used against you in the future.
Pressure You to Quickly Accept an Offer
An insurance claim adjuster after a storm may seem to want to move things along very quickly and could offer a settlement that seems to be lower than what is fair. Insurance companies can sometimes try to hurry things along and pressure homeowners into taking a low settlement, so they don’t have time to think on the offer or even discover the true extent of the damage. While there are certain deadlines that homeowners do need to meet and be aware of, they should not make decisions that they feel they are being pressured into by an insurance company.
Denial of Liability
Sometimes an insurance company may flat out say that they are not liable for paying anything at all for the damage that was done to your property by the storm. While they are obligated to pay for damages that fall within a homeowner’s insurance coverage, the insurance company may try to distinguish the damage that occurred from what is covered under the applicable policy or otherwise argue that they are not actually liable for the damage that occurred. Zinda Law Group can help get unscrupulous insurance companies to pay the money that they are obligated to pay under your policy.
storm insurance claim faqs
Does It Matter What Kind of Storm Caused My Damage?
For things like wind, hail, and hurricanes, the process and deadlines for filing a claim will likely be very similar. However, there may be some slight differences depending on state law and policy terms. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the relevant laws pertaining to your particular area to make sure that your rights are fully protected.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Your insurance policy likely gives a time limit for how long you have to file a claim. They are not always exact timespans, however, and sometimes simply say that a homeowner must report damage to the insurance company “promptly.” It is always better to err on the side of caution and get the process started as soon as you possibly can to avoid running into these sorts of issues.
How Can Zinda Law Group Help?
The attorneys at Zinda Law Group can help you by giving you a better idea of where you stand and what your rights are. They may also be able to help you fight for a fair outcome in your storm damage insurance claim.
call zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation
Sustaining severe damage to your home during a storm can be a devastating experience, but the process of being compensated for your loss shouldn’t have to be. One way to smooth things out is to have the right personal injury attorney on your side. Zinda Law Group has the experience necessary to guide you through and effectively fight on your behalf; in addition, we won’t charge you anything until we win your case for you—that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.