If you have damage from Hurricane Irma, in addition to consulting with a St. Lucie County, FL lawyer, here are some important things to do in the aftermath of a disaster to maximize your reimbursement from your insurance company.
If you haven’t done so already, the first step is to get all of your policies – home, auto, flood, wind and hail if they were purchased separately – and go over them carefully. Pay particularly close attention to the areas of the policies that discuss what is and is not covered. Humans may not be able to tame hurricanes, but they can certainly get around them legally and insurance policies are the first line of offense.
If you hire a St. Lucie County, FL lawyer, they too will look very closely at your policies, for what is covered, and most importantly, what is not. Exclusions can be plentiful in the fine print and being able to identify those exclusions early on means you get a head start on fighting with the insurance company that the exclusion does not in fact apply.
In addition to reviewing your policies, the other important step to take at the same time is to document the damage. This means take photographs and video of the entire area of damage, from all angles and showing all of the damage. Remember that some damage may not be evidence until the power comes back on or other damage is removed. So, have your phone camera and video recorder handy even when you are in the midst of clean up as you may uncover other damage that needs to be addressed.
If you were able to put together an inventory of your items before the storm, now is a great time to bring it out and begin to check on the status and whereabouts of the items on that list. You can also make notations regarding the condition of the item after the storm, and note any damage. Remember again that insurance policies are very particular things and contents are notoriously under covered in most policies. If you do have adequate contents coverage, however, having an inventory of items with their post-storm condition will help immensely when you are filing your claim with the insurance company.
Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, however, you still find it necessary to get help from a St. Lucie County, FL lawyer who can assist you in getting all that you need from your insurance company to rebuild.