Facing the devastating after-effects of hurricane-related damage is emotionally taxing. Having to deal with trying to figure out the in’s and outs of filing a property damage claim can be confusing, if not daunting. In having to deal with severe emotion and frustration, judgement can get clouded. However, in order to prevent your situation from getting worse, there are several things that should never be done. Here are the top 5.
- Don’t return to your home until it is deemed safe to do so.
In addition to protecting your own safety, first responders first priority is to find any survivors and casualties. Returning before they allow it will prolong their job, but other lives at risk and put you in danger. Remain patient and wait for the go-ahead.
- Don’t immediately discard of potentially damaged items.
In addition to not being in the best mindset to make sound decisions after a devastating event, you may be able to salvage some property that would otherwise have to be completely replaced. Although at first sight your property may appear to be totally destroyed, upon further examination, you may find that there’s a lot that is salvageable
Also, if you salvage partially damaged property, your insurance company will try to make sure that your property doesn’t suffer further damage.
- Don’t wait to contact your insurance company after the damage is done.
Once you file your claim, they will send out a person to assess your property for compensation. Remember, you’re not the only one who will be contacting them. Therefore, the longer you wait, the more time you will have to wait in line and your compensation will be delayed.
Also, your insurance may have a ‘prompt notice’ requirement which mandates that you contact the company as soon as damage is caused.
- Don’t assess the cause of the property damage to the adjuster.
Although we all have the best intentions of trying to help the situation, this may cause more damage than help to the owner of the property. Sometimes this ‘self-diagnosis’ may lead to the damage not being covered. Leave the job to the professionals and save yourself some potential heartache.
- Don’t feel that you have to accept the initial estimate for compensation that you receive.
Following the mass destruction that is caused by a severe hurricane, an insurance’s goal is to close as many properties as possible in the shortest amount of time. The majority of the time, they will also undervalue the property damage- it’s a business, after all! With these two elements at play, it leaves the owners of the damaged property without enough money to cover their damages.