Maine Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

On October 29, 2012, millions of Americans in the Northeast United States suffered significant harm, property loss, and damage when one of the most dangerous hurricanes made landfall. Now known as a “super storm,” this hurricane brought flooding and winds of up to 90 mph to millions of residents in several states. As a result, millions of Americans are now facing millions of dollars worth of property damage and loss.

When facing such devastation, most people believe that they can rely on their insurance company to provide financial assistance in covering the costs of their losses. Unfortunately, many insurance companies fail to uphold their policies with customers by engaging in unfair and unprofessional tactics. As a result, those people already victimized by a natural disaster are caused further suffering and harm as they are forced to pay the difference between the settlement offered by their insurance provider and the actual cost of damage.

What Happens after the Storm?

In the aftermath of a storm as large as a hurricane, insurance companies find themselves inundated with thousands of insurance claims. As a way to speed up the process of handling these claims, insurance companies often look to independent adjusters to help with assessing damage and evaluating claims. Sadly, this is just one of many tactics that insurance companies employ in an attempt to save themselves money, along with unfair claim denials, delays in processing and settling claims, misrepresentations, and settling claims at amounts far below their actual value.

While it seems simple enough for independent adjusters to aid in the process of evaluating damage and claims, the reality is that this often results in property damage being underestimated and hidden damage not being discovered. This is largely due to a number of inexperienced, unskilled, and improperly trained adjusters being used in the rush to settle the many claims an insurance company is faced with after a massive storm. Unfortunately, this and other acts of bad faith often result in property owners receiving far less than they actually deserve for their losses, forcing them to pay for the rest of their damages out of pocket. This difference can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, a significant sum for anyone.

Protecting and Enforcing Your Rights

Fortunately, as a policyholder, there are things you can do to make sure that your rights are protected when dealing with your insurance company:

  1. When a person is safely able to, they should take steps to protect their property from further harm. They should also save any receipts for costs related to temporary housing or relocation and emergency repairs that were made. Do not dispose of damaged property unless authorities instruction you to, and if they do, make sure to take pictures of it first.
  2. File a claim as quickly as you are able to and obtain a copy of your insurance policy. Once this is done, make sure to record the assigned claim number, when the claim was filed, and who it was filed with.
  3. Keep extremely detailed records regarding all interactions and correspondence related to your claim. When you speak with an adjuster or representative from the insurance company, make sure to record their name, when you spoke with them, their contact information, any actions that were taken to assess damage, the amount of damage discussed, the time and date of the interaction, and any other relevant details. This also includes keeping written and emailed correspondence.
  4. Compile an inventory of your property, including photographs of damaged property, receipts of purchases, and receipts for renovations or updates made to property.

Understand Your Rights

Obtaining the full amount of compensation you are entitled to under the law and according to your insurance policy after a storm like a hurricane is difficult enough when your insurance company acts as you hope they will. However, when insurance companies attempt to underpay you, delay your claim, or deny it outright, getting the financial assistance you need can seem impossible.

In this type of situation, many individuals turn to experienced attorneys who can help them take action against unfair insurance company tactics and pursue the full, fair insurance settlement outlined in their policies. If you have been treated unfairly by your insurance company in the wake of a hurricane, you need to take action now. Contact Williams Hart at (713) 352-0031 today to learn more about what you can do.

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