Here in Florida, we’re no stranger to dangerous weather and while many of our communities are have taken the proper precautions to stay safe during violent storms, damage happens to our homes. When this occurs, homeowners and families often rely on insurance companies to cover the cost of repairs and get their lives back on track.
Unfortunately, the storm damage claims process isn’t always an easy one. In order to protect their bottom lines, insurance providers are skeptical of the claims of customers and customers unfamiliar with the claims process could hurt their chances of getting the coverage they deserve. Below, let’s look at some of the most common mistakes we see committed by storm damage claimants.
Not Properly Documenting the Damage
Depending on your scope of your claim, an adjuster may come to your home to inspect the storm damage themselves. However, you do not have to wait to collect evidence of the damage to your home. Taking pictures of the damage to your home (as soon as it is safe to do so– but before cleaning up in any way) is always advised in case you need to contest the adjuster’s findings and assert the immediate effects the storm had on your home.
Waiting Too Long to File
Most claims occur as soon as possible following a serious storm and those that occur some time after this window only invite suspicion. After a storm, it’s advised that you take action as soon as you can. Even calling your provider to first inquire about your options will let them know that damage has occurred and you are taking action to file a claim.
Making Some Repairs Yourself
It seems to make logical sense: if there’s damage to your property, small repairs should be made to make your home more livable until your claim is resolved. However, these repairs could contaminate an adjuster’s impression of your property damage or the provider’s belief that you’ve been left financially unable to cover other minor damages.
Accepting the First Check
Many claimants will receive a check from their insurance provider that will only partially cover the damage to their homes. Often, claimants are thankful for any relief and will immediately deposit this check– but if you are unsatisfied with the amount, refrain from depositing it. Instead, speak with a Tampa insurance law attorney about your options in disputing the payout and recovering the money you deserve.
At Murray + Murray, we have helped Florida policyholders recover more than $117 million in coverage their insurance providers initially withheld from them. We are well-versed in the tactics this industry takes to shortchange their customers and what it takes to ensure that every avenue towards securing proper relief is aggressively explored.