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Steps to Protect your Assets if a Hurricane Aproaches

Sep 2, 2008
Your insurance company has not forgotten about the damages paid out in previous years. Policy owners in effected coastal and hurricane zone areas have seen rate increases year after year to pay for past losses and payouts for property damages. As a result, now is the time for home and property owners to evaluate their property casualty insurance to assure that they are covered in case of storm damage loss. Historically The worst storms form from August through October.

(1) Take photos and make a list of your personal property - A photograph is worth a thousand words. Take as many photos as possible of your personal items, and your home to assure that the insurance company can see the state of your home prior to the storm.

Maintain trees and shrubbery and other outside objects in a safe location - trees and shrubbery branches often become trajectories during a storm, and uprooted trees can actually impale both your home and that of neighbors.

Take photos immediately after the storm of damages - Again, a photograph or even a short video is worth a thousand words. If you end up in an eventual dispute with your insurance company regarding damages the photos and videos you take right after the storm are normally your best evidence to show that damages occurred.

Keep your important documents in a safe place - Make sure you have birth certificates, auto titles, deeds, financial documents, and any other important documents. A small lock box, or hand held file carrier can be transported easily and is a safe way to transport documents with you if you are required to evacuate your home.

In case of a Power Outage save all receipts for food, hotels, and other expenses. If you are forced to leave your home hastily by authorities as a result of an approaching storm; make sure you save your out of pocket expenses for spoiled food, hotel stays, and other expenses for having to evacuate your home.

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible - Don't wait to contact your insurance company to see if there are damages, most likely the insurance company will be swamped with calls for damages; get inline and contact your insurance carrier to assess your damages.

Record the time it takes you to clean-up. It may reimbursable. - Take notes on all the hours and expenditures you have for your clean-up efforts. Things such as hotel, gas, and sometimes even food receipts may be reimbursable under your policy.

Record the name and date of the insurance adjuster that visited your home. - It is critical when an insurance adjuster visits your home that they have the correct licenses and general liability coverages required for your state.

Make sure the insurance company gives you a claim number - Once you contact your insurance company ask them for a claim number and note the time and date of your call and if possible the person you spoke with on the phone. Keep track of every conversation and keep notes.

Do not sign any documents that say 'release' - Do not sign any releases on your claim. Depending on your state statutes, you may have several years to report a claim for damages.

If you feel you have been underpaid on your claim contact an attorney that specializes in first party contract claims. Insurance companies are in business because they take in more then they pay out, and the first pass of reimbursement for damages may not amount to what you are due under the policy for final damages as a result of your loss.

If you receive a check, go ahead and cash it. Your rights are not affected. - Many people believe that if they find future damages attributable to the storm that they will not be able to recover more money if they have already received a check- not true. Sign and deposit any checks you receive from your insurance company.
About the Author
Do you have hurricane damage call Atty Chris Lim at (800) 979-1937 or visit the website find out more about your Hurrican insurance claim
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