With forecasters expecting the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season to be “more active than usual,” homeowners in South Florida should be readying their homes and preparing to file claims with their home and flood insurance companies. Hopefully, we will make it through the season unscathed. But, if we do not, those who plan ahead will be in the best position to secure coverage and begin the rebuilding process promptly after a damaging storm.
3 Insurance Claim Preparation Tips for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season
1. Know What to Do (and What Not to Do) in the Aftermath of a Storm
Knowing what you need to do can help you avoid the chaos and feelings of helplessness that most people experience in the aftermath of a storm. While insurance companies will prioritize certain claims based upon the amount of damage sustained, generally speaking, the sooner you file a claim, the sooner you will be able to secure coverage.
In addition to filing your claim promptly, there are other steps you can take (and mistakes you can avoid) to help your insurance claim go more smoothly. To learn more, you can read:
- Creating an Inventory of Lost Property After a Storm
- What Do Homeowners Need to Know About Making Temporary Repairs?
- When Should You Invoke Your Right to an Appraisal?
2. Be Aware of the Risk of Scams and Frauds
Sadly, some people use major catastrophes as opportunities to take advantage of vulnerable and unsuspecting homeowners. When dealing with cleanup and repairs, it is important to be aware of the risk of fraud. For more information, you can read:
- Assignment of Benefits (AOB) Fraud and Other Concerns for Homeowners with Insurance Claims
- Be Aware of Misleading Rumors about Storm and Disaster Recovery
- FEMA: Homeowners Should Be Wary of Fraud and Price Gouging During Disaster Recovery
3. Be Prepared for Your Insurance Company to Dispute Your Claim
Home and flood insurance companies routinely dispute homeowners’ storm-related claims. From denying coverage based on policy exclusions to claiming that storm damage is actually a “prior loss,” insurance companies will often use a variety of legitimate and illegitimate tactics to limit their financial responsibility as much as possible. As a homeowner, it is important to know when your insurance company’s practices cross the line into bad faith, and to take action at the first sign that your claim is being improperly denied. Learn more:
- My Homeowner’s Insurance Company is Denying Coverage on the Basis of Fraud. What are My Rights?
- What Can You Do if Your Insurer Denies Your Property Damage Claim?
- What to Expect from a Coverage Dispute with Your Homeowner’s Insurance Company
Speak With a Fort Lauderdale Property Damage Attorney about Your Claim
Our property damage attorneys provide experienced legal representation for homeowners who are dealing with insurance claim delays and denials. If you live in the Fort Lauderdale area and need help securing payment from your home or flood insurance company, you can call (954) 767-6333 or contact us online for a confidential initial consultation.