Florida’s east coast will experience the impacts of Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm, within the next 24 hours. We have assisted hundreds of building owners get full payment from their insurance companies after the hurricanes of 2004-5. Use these last minute prep tips to help get full recovery for your insurance claim.
- Video contents and your building before the storm. Walk your property and video all the contents and the condition of the building before the storm. If you can do so safely, it is helpful to document if your roof is in good condition. Keep this video with you.
- Video damage as soon as possible after the storm. Before you begin any clean-up, document all damage with video. Debris scattered on the property can be important to demonstrate the wind strength. Take video of any efforts you make to prevent further damage—such as affixing tarps to the roof and keep receipts for these services so you can get reimbursed.
- Keep a copy of your building insurance policy with you. You will have the contact information you need to promptly report your claim. Even minor damage may be more serious than you think. The Florida Department of Financial Services Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit has useful information for recovery after the storm—including the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/understandingCoverage/Guides/documents/EmergencyFinancialPreparednessToolkit.PDF
- Document when you report the claim. Do not just contact your agent—report it directly to your insurance company as well. If possible, do so by fax or email so you have proof in writing. If it is necessary to call, video yourself stating the date and time and that you are calling in your building insurance claim. Ask the phone rep if you can record the call on speaker, and if they decline, record your side of the conversation. The Florida Department of Financial Services Homeowners’ Insurance Toolkit has some helpful information to get you started understanding the claim process: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/understandingCoverage/Guides/documents/HomeownersToolkit.pdf
- Avoid scams after the storm. Beware of door to door solicitors who may not have the qualifications to properly assist you with your recovery. Follow these tips from the National Insurance Crime Bureau: https://www.nicbblog.org/tag/hurricane-matthew/
Recovering from a disaster is stressful enough. The insurance claim can become like a second job. When you have an experienced attorney from day one, the insurer knows you are prepared to take it all the way and you won’t give up on full payment. Call 877-444-2929 for a free consultation.