Vermont Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

When hurricanes hit, Americans in thirteen states, from Maine to Virginia, are dramatically affected. As winds of up to 90 mph tear across over 1,000 miles, residents in these states suffer wind and flooding damage to their homes and property, and estimates for damages are in the tens of billions of dollars. A confluence of several storms, hurricanes not only became a “super storm,” but also one of the largest and most devastating natural events to hit the Northeast U.S.

When a storm as intense as a hurricane hits, millions of people suffer the effects. From wind damage, water damage, and the damage caused by flying debris, victims of hurricanes have sustained serious damage to their homes, businesses, and other property, leaving them with significant losses and expenses. In such a situation, the majority of people seek financial assistance from their insurance companies. However, not only can this be a difficult and complex process, but an insurance company that fails to adhere to their policies as they should can further delay or complicate the process. To learn more about what you can do if you feel that you have been wronged by your insurance company, contact Williams Hart today at (713) 352-0031.

What Happens after the Storm?

After a storm of such catastrophic proportions like a hurricane hits, insurance companies are inundated with thousands of claims from people like you who are seeking financial help to replace and repair their lost and damaged property. In order to address these claims in as fast a manner as possible, insurance companies will likely hire independent adjusters to help them inspect the properties and evaluate claims for the cost of damage. Sadly, this can not only easily lead to many errors being made, but it allows for delays in evaluating and paying claims, misrepresentation of facts, unfair rejections of claims, and too low settlements, all of which are techniques that insurance companies regularly use to save themselves millions of dollars.

While hiring independent adjusters to help quickly process and make payments on claims seems like a good idea, this practice all too often leads to property owners and victims of the storm being short changed. Whether due to inexperience, lack of training, or a failure to accurately estimate a claim, these insurance adjusters often deliver damage estimates that are far below the actual cost of the damage. Unfortunately, in situations similar to the one hurricane victims are facing, insurance companies are much more likely to hire adjusters who are likely to make low-ball estimates. When this happens, those property owners who have already suffered are often caused even further harm, as they have to pay thousands of dollars to make up the difference between what the insurance company paid and what the actual cost of damage is.

Steps to Take to Protect and Enforce Your Rights

  1. If it is safe for you to do so, you should take steps to keep your property and possessions from suffering further damage. You should also save any receipts related to paying for repair and emergency costs, including temporary housing expenses.
  2. Make sure to have a copy of your insurance policy in a safe place, or request a copy of your policy from the company if you cannot find a copy. File a claim for your losses as soon as you can, keep a copy of this claim, and make a record of who you reported the claim to, when it was filed, and your assigned claim number.
  3. Be detailed and keep written records. Any time you have any interaction with your insurance company or an adjuster, make sure to write down all necessary and relevant facts regarding the interaction, including the date, time, person you spoke/interacted with, the specifics on the interaction, phone number that was used (if a phone conversation), amount of time the interaction lasts, and specific estimate or damage details noted by an adjuster and the actions they took. If you receive any written correspondence, whether by mail or email, make sure to save a copy of this as well.
  4. Document your property. You should locate your inventory of property or make one if you do not already have one, take pictures of all damaged possessions and property, and find as many receipts for purchased, repaired, or renovated property and possessions that you can.

Can Someone Help me Recover Everything I am Entitled to Recover Under my Policy and According to the Law?

Filing an insurance claim is an intricate process that can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating for those who don’t have experience with or knowledge of the process. This is especially true when the insurance company or adjuster fails to adhere to your policy by interpreting it incorrectly, providing unfair payments, delaying your claim, or acting in bad faith. To learn more about what a lawyer can do to help you in the face of such inexcusable insurance company practices,  contact Williams Hart at (713) 352-0031 today.

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