Hurricane Damage Checklist
The Cardone Law Firm is always looking for tips or other helpful things to share with our clients to strengthen their case as much as possible before trial. The following helpful hints and checklist will insure that insurance companies will not be able to wiggle out of paying you the rightful compensation that you are owed.
A very important tip to consider is to make sure that you have written documentation for any type of communication with anyone you are dealing with pertaining to your claim. It is extremely important to have written communication of all these conversations to prevent any misunderstanding and it serves as the best evidence between you and someone else. A person should not rely on his or her memory to recall the important details of these conversations as that will not be a firm support for your case.
______ The first thing to do is to find a copy of your Homeowners Policy, Renters Policy, or Business Policy, including the Declaration Page which is the part of the policy that tells you the type and how much you have in coverage. It includes the name and address of the insurance company, with information about the issuing agent, and it includes the contact information for the correct department when making a claim. It also states what is insured, for how much, under which circumstances, and for how long. It is a great idea to store these insurance policies and any other important legal documents in a safe deposit box in a secure facility. This will insure they cannot be stolen or damaged.
_______ The next thing to do is to read and review your policy. It is extremely important to understand your policy because there are certain rules that you must follow when filing a claim. Understanding these rules will make sure you are treated fairly and will not be taken advantage of. It is also important because these insurance policies may provide immediate financial assistance with food and shelter expenses.
_______ Document all property damage in which your home or business has sustained. Take pictures, videos, notes, statements from eyewitnesses, or any other means by which you can support your claim of loss. A good way to document your losses is to go around your home or business and make a list of each and every thing in the room and the estimated value of the object, the cost, where it was purchased, and when you got it.
_______ Once it is safe to do so and to the extent that you are allowed to, make temporary repairs to your home or business. An insurance firm may try to claim that you did not mitigate your damages and that some damage could have been prevented.
_______ Keep a record that documents any kind of expense you had following the hurricane. Money spent for food, housing, repairs, or evacuation costs may be reimbursed, but the insurance company will probably not repay you if there is no written documentation.
_______ Make sure to record every important date relating to your claim, including when you first contacted your insurance, the first appraisal of your property, and any other relevant dates pertaining to your property damage claim.
______ Keep each adjustor or contractor’s pertinent information such as a business card and have an understanding of which company the person represents.
______ Do not sign anything until you have a clear understanding of what you are signing and the effects that will come about. If you do not trust the documents then do not sign them and contact Cliff Cardone as soon as possible. It is important to not sign any document that would prevent you from receiving full value for the loss you have sustained.
______ Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible who can handle these complex insurance issues and get you the rightful compensation you are owed. There is only a two year time limit to file suit for cases such as this. All of these factors will come into play with your insurance claim and this is why you should hire and experienced attorney to protect your rights.