In Florida, we must always be as ready as possible for a hurricane. When a hurricane strikes, follow these steps to help expedite the insurance claim process:
1. File your claim promptly
Locate a copy of your policy and report the claim to your insurance company. You will be given a claim number. Reference that claim number every time you contact the insurance company. Most insurance policies require you to report the loss timely so do not delay.
2. Document your losses
Take pictures and write a detailed list of all your damaged possessions, making sure to report even minor damage. For a sample form, click here.
3. Mitigate your losses
To help preserve evidence and to prevent further damage, your insurance policy requires you to take measures to secure your property. For instance, tarping the roof or removing wet or damaged items. Remember, if you throw anything away take a picture of it first.
4. Keep your receipts
If your home is damaged to the point that it is unsafe to live in, your insurance may pay for alternative lodging. Check your policy to see if you have “ALE” or “additional living expenses” coverage. Keep receipts of all expenses you incur while you are displaced from your home. ALE is only paid for a reasonable time while the home is being repaired so be diligent about getting the repairs completed.
5. Keep notes and correspondence
Document and keep all communication with your insurance company. Save notes, names, dates and discussion details. Get the email address of your adjuster and memorialize your phone conversations with a follow up email.
6. Get a second opinion
The insurance adjuster who comes to inspect your property is employed or contracted by the insurance company. Hiring your own independent adjuster or contractor will ensure you have someone that’s considering your best interests.
7. Hire Boltz Legal
Oftentimes, the insurance company pays an amount that the homeowner believes is inadequate to cover his/her losses. Hiring a lawyer to advocate on your behalf often results in additional payment for your claim. Hiring a lawyer requires no money out-of-pocket and, if you prevail or settle, the insurance company will pay your legal fees.
Boltz Legal represents hurricane victims anywhere in the State of Florida. Please contact us for further assistance.