- Report the claim as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate reporting a legitimate claim for damage to your insurance company. The sooner the insurance company can observe the damage, the better.
- Document the loss and interactions with the insurance company. Thoroughly document your loss in writing and with photographs. Take photos and video of your damage to show the insurance company. Also keep records of the date and time of any calls to the insurance company, who you spoke with, and the general substance of the conversations. Keep all written communication with the insurance company in a safe place.
- Provide accurate answers. You are the best historian of your home and have the best information about the pre-storm condition of your home and personal property. When the insurance company adjuster inspects the damage, she may rely on the information you provide regarding the extent of your damage, so provide accurate, honest answers. However, be sure to tell the adjuster that any damage you identify is only the damage you have noticed, and there may be other damage.
- Get your own estimates. If the insurance company’s estimate does not fairly represents the amount or extent of the damages, seek additional estimates from local trusted contractors regarding the amount it will cost to repair your home to pre-storm condition.
- Ask for help. The insurance claim process can be confusing. If you have questions or concerns about the insurance claim process or decisions made by the insurance company, seek help to be sure you get a fair evaluation.
- Do not prematurely discard damaged items. Do not throw away a damaged item until the adjuster has seen it or you have thoroughly documented the damage to the item. Proof of damage will be necessary for reimbursement of covered items.
- Do not prematurely make permanent repairs. Do not make structural or permanent repairs until the insurance company has observed the damage. Temporary repairs and measures to prevent further damage to your home are generally encouraged – just be sure the damage is documented! Save receipts for any temporary repairs made and provide them to your insurance company.
- Do not rely solely on the adjuster. The importance of doing your own research, making your own decisions, and staying involved with your claim cannot be overstated. Do not rely on others to make the best decisions without your involvement. Seek the advice of trusted contractors and professionals experienced in damage mitigation and rehabilitation if you need help.
- Do not get discouraged. The insurance claim process can be intimidating and overwhelming. Don’t get so discouraged that you settle for less than you are owed. Insist on a fair investigation and evaluation of the claim. If you feel too overwhelmed by this process, consider hiring a professional to help you get every dollar you deserve to restore your home.
As attorneys representing home and business owners, we have seen the damage, devastation, and disruptions that hurricanes and storms can cause. We have represented thousands of clients against insurance companies that have tried to avoid and delay payment for legitimate losses our clients have incurred.
Do you have property damage related to Hurricane Harvey? We focus on representing the policyholder and making sure you are treated fairly. Contact us today to discuss your claim or if you have any questions. Please use our Free Case Evaluation Form below or call us at 713-714-0000.
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