Delaware Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

Few storms have caused as much devastation, loss, and damage as hurricanes have. With 90 mph winds that reach hundreds of miles from the center of the storm and the flooding that they bring, millions of Americans in states stretching from Maine to Virginia have suffered substantial losses and damage to their property.

Hurricanes and storms of great magnitude usually result in the loss or damage of millions of dollars worth of property, causing anyone affected to seek financial assistance from their insurance company. While most policyholders assume that their insurance company will adhere to the agreement outlined in their insurance policy, sadly, this is not always the reality. By engaging in unfair acts, such as misrepresenting facts, delaying processing, and unfairly denying claims, insurance companies often attempt to save themselves significant sums of money and in turn, cause their customers serious financial suffering. If you’ve suffered because of dishonest insurance company tactics after a hurricane, do not wait to take action.

What Happens after the Storm?

When storms as big and far reaching as hurricanes hit, insurance companies typically find themselves handling thousands of insurance claims in a small time frame. In an effort to resolve these claims as fast as possible, they often look to independent adjusters for help in assessing damage and preparing estimates. Sadly, the use of multiple adjusters is just one tactic among many that insurance companies use to save themselves millions of dollars. By employing other tactics such as unfairly delaying claims or proposing damage estimates that are far below the actual cost of the damage, insurance companies can cause rightful claimants to lose thousands of dollars as they are left to make up the difference between the actual damage and their insurance payment.

Although hiring independent adjusters can help to settle claims in a shorter amount of time, unfortunately, it more often results in unfair settlements for claimants. These adjusters often fail to accurately assess or notice the full extent of damage. Additionally, many of the adjusters that are hired are inexperienced or inadequately trained, leading to large discrepancies in the amount of money an insurance company provides and the actual damage to a person’s property, almost always in the insurance company’s favor.

Enforcing Your Rights

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your rights are protected:

  1. Take steps to protect your property from further damage as soon as you can do so safely. Make sure to also keep receipts for emergency repairs and costs associated with temporary living expenses. Additionally, do not get rid of any damaged property until it is documented by an adjuster unless you are instructed to do so. If you are required to dispose of any damaged property, make sure to first take pictures of it.
  2. You should also make sure to obtain a copy of your insurance policy and file an insurance claim for already damaged or missing property and make a copy of this claim. Additionally, take notes about when it was filed, with whom, and the claim number assigned to it.
  3. Be specific and meticulous in keeping notes of all interactions regarding your claim. This means noting every interaction you have with your insurance company or an adjuster, at what time and how long these interactions occurred, the actions that were taken by the person, the specifics that were discussed, and any and all available contact information. You should also make sure to keep records of any written or emailed correspondence.
  4. Locate or create an inventory of your property, including receipts for any purchases and renovations / updates made to the property. Within this inventory, make sure to include photographs of damaged property, such as your home or vehicle, and a list of missing property.

Understanding Your Rights and Options under the Law

Filing an insurance claim can be a difficult and frustrating process in its own right. However, when an insurance company utilizes unfair practices or acts unprofessional in an effort to save themselves money by settling for less than the amount of the actual damage, this process can become even more complicated and troublesome.

For this reason, many turn to experienced insurance claims lawyers to help them make sure that their rights and interests are upheld. If you believe that your hurricane damage insurance claim has been unfairly handled, contact Williams Hart today at (713) 352-0031 and learn more about the legal options available to you.

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