What should I do to prepare in case my home is damaged by Hurricane Dorian?
While we still do not know where or how strong Hurricane Dorian will hit Florida, it is important to be prepared. Besides stocking up on food and water, as well as making plans for how you will maintain shelter and communication, you should also be prepared for the aftermath of any strong storm like a hurricane.
When Hurricane Dorian inevitably hits Florida, your home may sustain damage as a result. In order to be ready and prepared in the event you need to make an insurance claim with your homeowners insurance carrier, take the following steps now:
- Be safe. Be safe in gathering necessary supplies to keep your family and loved ones (including yourself) safe. Listen to local authorities if they tell you that you need to evacuate. If they do, evacuate!
- Take photographs of all your home (both inside and outside) before the hurricane hits. Don’t forget to take photos of your personal items as well. This is important so your insurance company can not claim that your case is fraudulent.
- Board up your home and take all steps necessary to limit the amount of loss you sustain. This includes securing items that may be swept up in the wind and become flying missiles and placing sandbags around entrances to your home if you live in a flood zone. Again, take photos of the steps you take, and if it takes 100 photos to document this, do it!
- Get your insurance policy before Hurricane Dorian hits. This will be helpful when making a claim.
- Notify your insurance company as soon you notice damage (not a day later). If you don’t, insurance companies will attempt to block your claim and be that much more successful in doing so. Again, take photos of all damage.
- When speaking to your insurance company, takes notes. Make sure to write down who you are speaking to, their name, and their claim number. Write down just about everything else that is said, too.
- Hire a licensed contractor. A licensed contractor will not be afraid to show you that they are bonded and insured. Make them show you proof. Get a second estimate before moving forward on repairs, too. This again will show the insurance company that you are not fraudulent and deserve compensation.
- Keep all damaged personal property and do not throw it away until you have settled with your insurance company.
- Consult with an attorney if the insurance company wants to sign a release and you are unsure if it is fair.
Many times homeowners insurance companies deny property damage claims even when they know they should pay. If your insurance company denies your claim and you need aggressive representation, call Florida homeowners insurance attorneys, “The Patricks” at Hale Law, P.A. Please also visit our site at http://www.hurricanedisasterclaim.com