Once it is safe to return to your property or go outside, you should begin evaluating the damages to your home. Unfortunately, this process may be complicated if you don’t follow the right steps.
Here are a few Hurricane Ida insurance claims tips to get you started:
1. Document Damage! — Do not wait to document your damage.
Use you smart phone to video and photograph both the inside and outside of your home.
You can start to to separate damaged items from undamaged items, but do not throw them away (Your claims adjuster may want to itemize each damaged item).
2. Initiate your insurance claim
It is very important to get you claim started quickly. The longer to you take to file a claim, the longer the claims process may take.
Make sure that your insurance company has your current contact information—
Some cell phone carriers might be down. Make sure the insurance company has a good contact number.
If you evacuated, make sure the insurance company knows how to best contact you.
3. Document All Communication with Your Insurance Company
You and you adjuster are going to discuss a lot of things on the phone— Ask them to follow up your conversation with an email.
If you have an important question to ask, send it to you adjuster via email.
Adjusters are just people and people can make mistakes. However, Email does not forget. Written communications keep everyone honest.
4. Review Your Insurance Policy
Your policy is your contract with your insurance company— It dictates what you must do and what the Insurance Company promises to do.
It will also outline what is covered and what is not covered by your insurance policy
Either read this policy yourself or have an attorney read this policy. It is important that you understand you responsibilities and the duties your Insurance Company owes to you under the policy.
5. Itemize your Damaged Items
Start making an itemized list of you damaged personal items— These items are typically furniture, appliances, clothes, yard equipment, ect.
You can use internet retailers such as Amazon to research the replacement cost of destroyed items
6. Save Receipts for EVERYTHING!
You probably incurred all kinds of expenses due to this storm.
If you evacuated, your additional living expenses (hotel stays, gas, meals, ect.) may be covered by your policy.
If home was damaged, you are going to have clean-up cost. These expenses may also be covered by your policy.
Save all your storm related receipts
7. Beware Of Your Hurricane Ida Deductible
Many homeowners and business insurance policies have separate hurricane deductibles
These hurricane deductibles can be substantially larger than the normal deductible— Some can require you to spend tens of thousands of dollars of “hurricane-related losses” before your insurance company has to pay a dime.
Avoid the shock and figure out your Hurricane Deductible early on so that you can financially plan early in the claim process
8. Check for FEMA Resources
FEMA is offering relief and other assistance programs that may help or supplement your needs. Visit their website for more info and to see if you are eligible.
Finally, Don’t be Afraid to Ask For Help!
Forrest Cressy & James is here to help. We understand that the claims process may be new to you and a bit overwhelming.
Our attorneys have lived through Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac.
We know exactly what you are going through.
We know 1st hand the emotional toll caused by a major hurricane like Ida.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and drained, let us help.
Give us a call or send us an email to set your free consultation.