Virginia Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims

When a hurricane hits, it brings with it winds that reach up to 90 mph and affect an incredible number of people in states from Virginia all the way up to Maine. Referred to as a “super storm,” hurricanes are now recognized as one of the most devastating storms in our country’s history, causing millions of Americans to suffer serious injuries and extensive damage to their property.

As a result of a hurricane making landfall, millions of people have found themselves facing incredible damage to their homes, businesses, vehicles, and other property. This damage is often significant, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in some instances. As such, many are turning to their insurance companies for financial assistance to cover their losses under the terms of their insurance policies. Filing such claims can already be difficult and complicated; however, when insurance companies fail to live up to their duties as stated in your policy, causing your claim to be unfairly denied, underpaid, delayed, or improperly handled in a number of other ways, it can feel impossible to get the money you need.

What to do after the Storm

Storms like hurricanes have the ability to affect millions of home and business owners, causing insurance companies to be inundated with hundreds of thousands of claims at one time. While this puts a large amount of responsibility on an insurance company, they are still expected to handle these claims properly and fairly. However, because many turn to independent adjusters to help assess damage and evaluate claims, and because many insurance companies are interested in saving themselves as much money as possible, many deserving claimants receive unfair payments or have legitimate claims denied altogether.

While independent adjusters can be extremely helpful in preparing damage estimates, there are a number of pitfalls with hiring these adjusters. This is especially true when the number of claims that need to be evaluated is large. When filing claims related to storms like hurricanes, many people suffer the repercussions of errors made by inexperienced or improperly trained adjusters, who often make mistakes in estimating claims, usually in an insurance company’s favor. Additionally, when insurance companies use tactics such as unfairly denying claims, misrepresenting damage, delaying processing of claims, or underpaying claims, people may suffer even more, especially if they have to pay the difference between the actual damage they suffered and what the insurance company paid them, which often amounts to thousands of dollars.

Protect Your Rights

There are several things that policyholders can do to make sure their rights and interests are protected when filing an insurance claim:

  1. Take steps to prevent further property damage and loss as soon as you are safely able to. Additionally, make sure to keep receipts for any costs incurred as a result of damage or relating to the storm, such as relocation costs.
  2. File an insurance claim. Make sure to do this as soon as possible and keep a copy of your policy and the claim. You also want to make note of when the claim was filed, the number assigned to it, and who it was filed with.
  3. Make records of everything! Any time you interact with your insurance company or an adjuster, make sure to keep written records of all important details, including who you interacted with, how the interaction occurred (over the phone, in person, etc.), how long it lasted, what was discussed (especially regarding property damage and the claim), and any damage estimates. You also want to make copies of any written correspondence you receive from these parties.
  4. Generate an inventory of your property if you don’t already have one. This includes gathering receipts for purchases or renovations made to your property. You also will want to include pictures of damaged property and make notes of lost property.

Get the Help You Need

When you’ve endured losses and damage to your property from a hurricane or a similar storm, you are likely in need of substantial financial assistance and are interested in finding out if there is someone who can help you secure everything you are entitled to according to the law and the terms of your insurance policy. However, filing a claim to get this financial coverage can be difficult, especially if your insurance company employs unfair tactics.

If you are facing this situation, you need an experienced attorney on your side to help you fight for what you deserve. To learn more, contact Williams Hart today by calling (713) 352-0031.

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