Hurricanes are some of the most devastating natural disasters we see here in the United States. 2020 was a record-breaking year for hurricanes. In fact, 30 named storms occurred in 2020 alone.
At least 12 of these storms made landfall and six of them were considered major hurricanes with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour (mph) or greater.
As a Louisianan, you understand what it’s like to endure these treacherous storms and deal with the aftermath. Unfortunately, residents are not left with much support to pick up the pieces after a devastating weather event.
However, if you own your home and have insurance on it, you may have options to help pay for the losses you incurred as a result of the hurricane. Here’s what you need to know about filing a homeowners’ insurance claim for hurricane damage:
#1 - You may be entitled to additional living expenses while your home is uninhabitable.
Depending on your plan, your homeowners’ insurance policy may provide funding for your living expenses while your home undergoes repairs or a rebuild. Insurance companies will often provide compensation to help you pay for renting a home while your property is under construction.
This may be the first type of compensation you receive from the insurance company.
#2 - Insurance companies often initially deny viable claims.
If this happens to you, don’t panic. It is quite common for insurance companies to initially deny viable claims. They do this in an attempt to save money by making you believe your claim is worthless.
If your claim is denied, you still have options. One of the best things you can do for your claim is to hire a skilled hurricane damage attorney to help you deal with the insurance company so that you recover the compensation you deserve when you need it most.
You see, insurance companies know you mean business when you hire an attorney. They know that they can no longer get away with underhanded tactics because experienced attorneys can successfully work around their tricks.
#3 - After a natural disaster, insurance companies are often given leeway regarding when they must respond to claims.
Typically, insurance companies have about 14 days to respond to your claim. However, this time period may be extended in order to give insurance companies more time to deal with the influx of claims they receive after a significant weather event.
#4 - Not all homeowners’ insurance policies cover flood damage.
It’s important to check your policy and make sure that your homeowners’ insurance policy covers flood damage. Some policies specifically exclude it so that you must purchase additional flood coverage.
However, if your policy covers hurricane damage, it should also include flooding as a result of the storm. When hurricanes occur, flooding is very common. In fact, 25% of flood insurance claims are submitted by people living outside of high-risk flood zones.
#5 - Before buying an insurance policy, you can check your home’s flood risk.
You can use the tool provided by Louisiana State University to find out your home’s flood risk. The maps can help you determine how much insurance coverage you should purchase to make sure your home is sufficiently covered in the event of a hurricane.
Making an educated decision on the amount of coverage you need is one of the most important aspects of purchasing a homeowners’ insurance plan. It’s best not to play guesswork with this sort of thing.
If your property has sustained damage as a result of a hurricane, you may be owed compensation to help pay for your losses. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office right away with any questions you may have.