3 Things You Must Do Post Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma has passed. It’s time to go out document the damages you may have, secure any damage to your property, and quickly make your insurance claim – to maximize the speed and accuracy of the money you are going to need from your insurance company to start the rebuilding process.
Please be aware!!! Before you leave your house, be aware, after hurricanes it can be dangerous outside. You are going to watch out for standing water, electrical lines being down, other debris that has flown, wild animals that have now lost their homes and may be looking for food and scavenging. Snakes will come out of their holes – in Florida we have a number of dangerous snakes. So be very aware of your surroundings once you leave your property.
Step 1: Document Property Damage
Once you are able to safely leave (or enter) your property, hopefully you have video tape and photo evidence of what has gone on in your house before the hurricane. You are going to want to do the same thing, once the hurricane has passed. Take your smart phones, start video taping and photographing all around your house, to show the debris and damage – before you start picking it up. Go take photos while it is raw out there.
Step 2: Secure Your Property Damage
Once you’ve documented that, you can start the cleaning up process, but carefully.
Step 3: Make Your Insurance Claim
When you make your claim, have the following information ready:
- Insurance policy
- Claim numbers
- Make/Model information
Once you make the claim, recognize, there are a number of things the insurance company can dispute:
- Whether or not you have coverage.
- Did you fulfill the obligations on your policy – to mitigate your damages.
- Do you have a flood policy?
- Was it wind damage?
If you don’t have coverage issues, you may have scope and amount of work for evaluation issues. Scope is how much of the damage caused by the hurricane. Was a 100% of the roof damaged by the hurricane, or was 25% or more damaged? Those numbers are important in property damage claims. And if not, what is the scope of the amount that the insurance will cover, and what is the value of that damage? One insurance company may say your roof is worth $12,000 versus another will say it is worth $36,000. There is a big difference in those numbers and the damages that you get from your insurance company are going to refurbish and rehabilitate your house.
Be aware that these arguments are going to exist.
If you have questions, document – document – document! Give us a call. We are going to be here 24/7 to help people out with Hurricane Irma. We are absolutely committed to help people of Palm Beach County survive this. We look forward to helping, and hope that everyone stayed safe through the hurricane.