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10 Steps to Safeguard Your
Home and Insurance Claim

Be Ready, Not Sorry: Protect Your Home and Insurance Claim

Hurricane activities in New Orleans, Louisiana leave many homeowners feeling unprepared. They often need help knowing what to do about the damage or how to deal with insurance. But don’t worry! This guide unveils the necessary steps to protect your home and insurance claim. We’ll give you the information and steps to handle unexpected situations, reduce damage, and make claiming insurance easy. 

Hurricane insurance claims happen when homeowners or property owners seek compensation from insurance companies for damages from hurricanes. These claims pay for damage to homes, buildings, and personal belongings caused by strong winds, lots of rain, big waves, and flooding.

Quick Summary:

  • Hurricane insurance helps homeowners and property owners by covering financial losses from hurricanes. It pays for damage to buildings, personal belongings, extra living costs, wind and water damage, debris removal, and repairs.
  • If you live in an area where hurricanes happen a lot, you should consider different types of insurance. These include homeowners insurance, windstorm insurance, flood insurance, excess or umbrella insurance, and business interruption insurance.
  • To get ready for a hurricane, you need to know the risks in your area and have the right insurance. You should also secure your home, take pictures of your belongings, act fast after the storm, and tell your insurance company right away if there’s damage.
  • If your insurance claim for hurricane damage is denied, you should find out why. Get more information, ask your insurance company to look at it again, get legal advice if you need it, and complain to the Louisiana Department of Insurance if you have to.
  • Sometimes, insurance companies don’t treat you fairly. They might say no to claims they should pay or offer you less money than you deserve. If this happens, getting legal help can make sure your rights are protected.

Hurricane insurance claims are about getting back the money you lose when hurricanes damage your home or personal properties. Let us equip you with the knowledge and action steps to confidently handle unexpected situations.  So, ditch the confusion and unlock peace of mind with your home and insurance!

What is a Hurricane Insurance? 

Hurricane insurance helps protect homeowners and property owners from financial losses because of hurricane activities. Since Louisiana gets a lot of hurricanes, having hurricane insurance is crucial. Many homeowners purchase it as part of their regular home insurance, while others buy extra coverage just for hurricanes.

What Damages Does Hurricane Insurance Cover? 

Hurricane insurance pays for damages to your home and personal belongings caused by hurricanes and similar events. Here’s what it often helps with:

  • Structural Damage – includes roof, walls, windows, doors, and foundation
  • Personal Property Damage – covers furniture, appliances, clothes, electronics, or other household items
  • Additional Living Expenses – if  your home gets too damaged to live, this will cover temporary places to stay and meals until your home is fixed
  • Wind Damage –  includes coverage for damage from strong winds, gusts, and tornadoes that come with hurricanes
  • Water Damage – covers water damage like rain getting in through a damaged roof or flooding from storm surges or heavy rainfall
  • Debris Removal – help pay for clearing debris like fallen trees or branches from your property after the storm
  • Repairs and Reconstruction – if your home needs fixing or rebuilding after the hurricane, this helps cover the cost of repairs, including labor, materials, and permits needed to rebuild

What are the Common Types of Hurricane Insurance?

There are different kinds of hurricane insurance to help homeowners protect their properties from hurricane damage:

  • Homeowners Insurance: Many homeowners have this already. It usually covers things like wind damage, rain damage, and damage from fallen trees or debris.
  • Windstorm Insurance: This one specifically helps with damages from strong winds during hurricanes.
  • Flood Insurance: This insurance can cover damages to the home’s structure and personal belongings.
  • Excess or Umbrella Insurance: These policies give you extra coverage beyond what your regular insurance covers. They’re useful for high-value homes or assets that might need more protection.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: If you run a business from your home or rely on rental income, this insurance can cover lost income and extra expenses if hurricane damage stops you from doing business or renting out your property.

As a homeowner, it’s crucial to think carefully about what kind of insurance you need. Consider getting different types of insurance to cover all the risks that come with hurricanes. 

10 Steps to Safeguard Your Home and Insurance Claim

Preparing for a hurricane involves safeguarding your home and ensuring you have the necessary documentation and procedures in place for potential insurance claims. Here are 10 steps to help you prepare:

  • Know Your Enemy

Hurricanes bring powerful winds that can rip things off. It also comes with flooding rains that can turn your basement into a pool. Be familiar with your area’s specific risks. Are you in a flood zone? Are windstorms common? What hurricane categories are most likely? Websites like the Federal Emergency Management Agency can help. 

  • Gear Up with the Right Insurance 

Standard homeowner’s insurance is awesome, but it doesn’t cover everything a hurricane throws your way. New Orleans faces not one, but two hurricane hazards. Review your insurance. Identify what is covered and not. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Windstorm Insurance: This superhero suit shields your home from hurricanes, safeguarding against roof damage, broken windows, and garage or shed destruction. Check if your homeowner’s policy covers windstorms or requires separate coverage.
  • Flood Insurance: New Orleans standard insurance doesn’t cover floods. Flood insurance covers damage caused by rising water, like a flooded basement or ruined furniture. 
  • Be Hurricane Ready and Prepare Your Home

Secure your yard: Bring patio furniture indoors or bindit securely. Trim overhanging trees to prevent roof damage. Invest in hurricane shutters to protect your windows like armor. 

  • Document Your Belongings

Before hurricane season, take pictures and videos of your home’s exterior, interior, and valuables. This will be super helpful for your insurance claim later. Don’t forget to always take new pictures and videos throughout the year, especially if you add new furniture or valuables.

  • Act Fast After the Storm 

Secure your home immediately. If there’s damage, use tarps, plywood, or anything you can find to cover broken windows or holes in your roof. This will prevent further water damage. Take pictures and videos of the damage as soon as it’s safe to do so. The more detailed the record, the stronger your insurance claim.

  • Contact Your Insurance Company ASAP 

Never delay. Let your insurance company know about the damage as soon as possible after the storm. This starts the claims process. Explain what happened and the damage you see. Stay calm and polite, even if the situation can be stressful.

  • Be Ready for an Adjuster Visit 

An insurance adjuster will be sent to assess the damage and determine the value of your claim. Show them your photos, videos, and any receipts for repairs you’ve already made. Don’t be afraid to ask the adjuster about the claims process and what to expect next.

  • Save Those Receipts and Understand Your Deductible 

Keep receipts for storm-related repairs or replacements, crucial for insurance claims settlement. Understand your homeowner’s policy deductible and exclusions, which are the out-of-pocket amount before insurance coverage and anything not covered. This prevents surprises.

  • Review Your Policy Regularly

Life is constantly changing, and so are your insurance needs. Periodically review your insurance policy to make sure it still meets your needs, especially if you’ve made significant changes to your home or belongings. Consider factors like inflation, changes in property value, and new risks that may affect your coverage.

  • Seek Professional Advice

Insurance can be complicated, and it’s okay to seek help if you’re unsure about anything. Consider consulting with an insurance agent or a legal professional to help you understand your policy and make informed decisions about your coverage. They can provide valuable guidance and support you need when you need it most.

What If My Hurricane Insurance Was Denied?

If your hurricane insurance claim was denied in New Orleans, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Understand the Reason for Denial: Read the letter from the insurance company carefully to know why they denied your claim.
  2. Gather Additional Information: Check your homeowner’s insurance policy again to understand what it covers. Collect any extra documents that support your claim.
  3. Contact Your Insurance Company: Talk to your insurance company and ask to appeal the decision. If your first try doesn’t work, keep trying.
  4. Consider Legal Help: If you’re not sure what to do or think your claim was unfairly denied, think about talking to a hurricane insurance claim lawyer in New Orleans. They can look at your case, give you advice, and talk to the insurance company for you.
  5. File a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI): If you think your insurance company isn’t treating you right, you can complain to the LDI. They can look into it and try to fix things between you and the insurance company.

The claims process can be complex, so consider seeking legal help if needed. Stay informed, persistent, and gather necessary documentation to improve your chances of a successful appeal and fair compensation for hurricane damage.

What is Bad Faith Hurricane Insurance?

Bad faith hurricane insurance happens when your insurance company doesn’t do what it’s supposed to after a hurricane. Here are some examples of bad things they might do:

  • Denying Valid Claims: Sometimes, insurance companies say no to claims that should be okay. They might not have a good reason, even if the policy says they should pay.
  • Underestimating Damages: Insurance companies might say your damages aren’t as bad as they really are. This way, they don’t have to pay you as much.
  • Delaying Claims Processing: Some companies take a long time to deal with claims. This can be hard on people waiting for money to fix their homes or replace their properties.
  • Offering Unfair Settlements: Sometimes, insurance companies offer you less money than you deserve. They might try to pressure you into taking it, even if it’s not enough.
  • Breaching the Duty of Good Faith: Companies are supposed to treat you fairly. If they don’t, it’s like breaking a promise.
  • Misrepresenting Policy Coverage: Sometimes, insurance companies don’t tell you everything your policy covers. This might make you think you can’t get money for certain things, even though you should.

If your insurance company acts in bad faith, resulting in financial losses and emotional distress, you can take legal action. Pursue compensation for breach of contract and bad faith practices, potentially including punitive damages to deter future misconduct.

Call our New Orleans Hurricane Insurance Attorney Now!

Hurricanes in New Orleans, Louisiana can cause a lot of damage, but if you prepare well and have the right insurance, you can handle it. It’s important to get windstorm and flood insurance, especially in places like New Orleans where hurricanes are common.

But what if your insurance company doesn’t treat you right? If they delay, say no, or offer too little money, don’t be afraid to get help from Hammond Law Firm LLC. We’ll stand up for you, make sure you’re treated fairly, and guide you through the complicated claims process.

If you’re ready, informed, and willing to fight, you can come out of a hurricane stronger. Contact us for a free consultation about your situation. We deal with hurricane insurance claims, commercial property insurance claims, business interruption claims, and more.  

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