Attorney John Tolley was interviewed by News 12 on the Turn to Tara Segment. He shared a few tips for homeowners looking to keep their properties protected during hurricane season.
Are you prepared for a hurricane?
The best time to prepare for a hurricane is before it strikes.
Catastrophic hurricanes cause destruction, and sometimes there’s nothing anyone can do to avoid property damage, but having the right protection beforehand can save you thousands while giving you peace of mind.
Very few structures can stand against a powerful hurricane or a tornado and remain undamaged. The best thing you can do is prepare for the hurricane by reinforcing your property as best as possible (shutters, sandbags, supplies, etc.) and protect yourself from a property damage claim standpoint.
You are expected to maintain your home. What else can you do to protect yourself from a hurricane?
By now, everyone knows you need to board your windows and doors or add shutters to your home. If you can install hurricane-proof windows and doors, even better. It’s also common knowledge that stocking up on medicine and supplies is essential. What else should property owners do to protect themselves from a hurricane?
Get a pre-inspection report.
Invest a little now to save yourself from the headache of a claim denial later on.
Property damage claims run smoother when you have substantial, irrefutable evidence to back your claim. After all, insurance companies place the burden of proving how the damage to your property was caused on your shoulders.
A pre-inspection report will have details – and in many cases pictures – documenting the state of your property prior to a storm or hurricane. The report will cover critical areas of your property, including the structure, foundation, framing, and roof. If the adjuster you are working with does not take images, ask them how much they would charge to add images as part of the report.
Rocket Mortgage reports the average price of a pre-inspection report to be between $280 – $400, but the cost varies depending on your location and property size.
Invest in flood insurance.
Ensuring you have the right protection and policies in place prior to Hurricane Season is essential. Your future self and those who depend on you will thank you for it later. After a storm or hurricane damages your property, the insurance company will send in one of their adjusters (sometimes the insurance company gives them mandates they are forced to follow) to inspect the property. The adjuster will “draw a line” on the wall and say anything above that line is homeowners insurance, and anything below the line is flood insurance.
Flood insurance costs vary depending on your property and whether or not you are in a flood zone.
Document the contents of your home and save receipts for large purchases.
Your property is one of your biggest assets, but your property can also house other assets. It’s important to document the contents of your home and save receipts for any large purchases. Document everything you can – If attorney John Tolley just purchased a new laptop, and yes, he saved the receipt!
Have digital backups for vital documents and safely store physical documents in a safe space.
Keep your essential documents safely stored somewhere where they will be easily accessible and stay dry. In the event your property floods or the property’s structural integrity is altered in any way, you want to ensure your documents will remain safe. Items like deeds, social security cards, birth certificates, passports, and other valuable documents should be protected.
You can even have a grab-and-go waterproof backpack to store your essential documents in.
A denied or underpaid claim is not the end of the story. JT Law Firm can still help you recover maximum compensation.
If the insurance company denies your claim, then it’s time to speak with a property claim attorney who will fight to build a strong case to back your claim.
Legitimate claims are denied all the time. In fact, under oath, we have deposed insurance company adjusters who have confessed to acting under the threat of termination if they did not help the insurance company deny legitimate claims. The insurance company knows not everyone has the ability to fight back, and they use that knowledge to deny claims.
On average, our clients receive $50,000 more than what the insurance company wanted to pay them. Our lawyers fight and strive to deliver maximum compensation for your case.
Speak to JT Law Firm about your case today!
Knowledge is power, and executing timely actions is what it takes to keep your property protected. Your property is one of your best investments. You have equity, loved ones, and if it’s a commercial property, you have employees who all depend on the structural integrity of your property.
Our hurricane damage insurance claim attorneys are ready to help you.
There’s no cost or fee unless we win.