Property Damage Claims for Hurricane Damage

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the residents of Metairie, Louisiana are no strangers to hurricanes. The destruction that a hurricane leaves in its wake is devastating, especially if you are having issues with your property damage claim. If your insurance company is delaying, denying, or undervaluing your claim, you should reach out to a qualified attorney right away.

Property Damage Claims for Hurricane Damage

How Should You Prepare for Hurricane Damage?

There are a few steps that you should take to prepare for an insurance claim before a hurricane hits Metairie.

  1. Understand the scope of your hurricane insurance coverage. It is critical to understand the limitations and exclusions of your insurance policy. Insurance policies are notoriously complex, so it is helpful to consult with a local attorney who can explain your carrier’s obligations and Louisiana law. Often, standard homeowner’s insurance policies exclude flood damage, so you may need to obtain a separate flood policy.
  2. Double-check that your policy is still active. If your policy has lapsed, renew it immediately. Insurance companies will not pay out a claim if your policy is not active.
  3. Take photographs of your property. You should take interior and exterior photos of your property and store them online so that you can recover them after a storm. You can use these photos to prove that damage was caused during the hurricane and not before.

What Steps Should You Take After Suffering Hurricane Damage in Metairie?

If a hurricane has caused damage to your home or business, you should take the following four steps.

  1. Document all damaged property. You should take photos and videos of all damaged property. The more thoroughly you document the damage, the better chance you have at getting compensation.
  2. File a claim with your insurance company. You should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights. Insurance companies have strict filing deadlines. If you wait too long, the insurance company may have grounds to deny your claim.
  3. Protect your property against further loss. Many insurance policies have a provision requiring holders to protect their property from additional damage after a hurricane. This section of the policy is often titled “duties after loss.” It is critical to understand your responsibilities to protect the property after the storm. This may include acts such as placing a tarp over the roof.
  4. Keep records of all communication with your insurance company. You should record all contacts with your insurance company. This evidence is helpful if your claim is delayed, undervalued, or denied.

What Tactics Do Insurance Companies Use to Deny or Undervalue Claims?

The goal for insurance companies is to save costs, and it is not uncommon for companies to act in bad faith. Below are a few of the various tactics insurance companies use to avoid providing full compensation to policyholders:

  • Delaying the processing or payment of a valid claim;
  • Coercing you into accepting low-ball offers;
  • Misrepresenting information or policy provisions relating to the claim;
  • Arguing that certain damages are not covered under your policy (even if they are);
  • Failing to investigate damage promptly and completely;
  • Citing pre-existing damage not caused by the hurricane; and
  • Insisting policyholders provide unnecessary paperwork and documentation for recovery.

If you suspect that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, you should immediately reach out to a Metairie property damage attorney.

What Should I Do if My Property Damage Claim is Denied or Undervalued?

If you are running into difficulty with your insurance company, you should contact a hurricane property damage attorney as soon as possible.  Many property owners do not fight back, and insurers use this to their advantage.

An attorney will determine how much money you are really owed and can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. They can negotiate with your insurance company to get the best settlement. If your claim cannot be settled, your attorney can appeal the unfair denial or underpayment and represent you in court if needed. Dealing with property loss after a hurricane is stressful and emotional. However, if you are working with a qualified attorney, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected.

Your Metairie Property Damage Attorney

If you have a question about a property damage claim for hurricane damage, you should reach out to a local Metairie attorney. The Fisher Law Firm is a full-service law firm dedicated to providing the best legal services to Louisiana residents. Your initial consultation is free, so call us today at 504-304-4944 to schedule an appointment at our Metairie, Louisiana office.

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