Hurricane Irma damage: 4 tips for dealing with insurance claims

As Hurricane Irma plowed its way through most of the State of Florida on Sunday and early Monday morning, several people are starting to survey the damage to their homes and property. Insurance claims in connection with the damage caused by Hurricane Irma is projected to cost many billions of dollars.

Fulgencio Law is a Tampa law firm helping consumers through the claims handling process with their insurance carrier. The damage caused by Hurricane Irma will undoubtedly be extraordinary, and we hope insurance carriers will do right by their insureds. In our experience, however, that is not always the case, particularly during such large disasters. Here are four tips to consider in your hurricane property damage claims:

  1. Secure all applicable insurance policies: you may have a homeowner’s or renter’s policy, a separate flood policy, and an automobile or boat policy. It is important to locate and secure all of these policies. If you do not have access to them, your insurance carrier will (or should!) provide it to you.
  2. Document all damaged property: take photos and/or videos of all damaged property before attempting to repair or even minimize the damage. When the claim is filed initially, you may be asked to provide this evidence. Having this evidence I advance will go a long way in the handling of your claim.
  3. Contact your insurance carrier or agent as soon as possible: most insurance policies require the insured to promptly notify the carrier of the damage. You may even be penalized for failing to promptly notify the insurance carrier of the damage. It is important that you act as soon as possible.
  4. Protect damaged areas from continued damage and exposure to the elements: most policies require the insured to mitigate or minimize the damage. In essence, the insured is expected to take at least some action to not let the damage continue to increase. Cover broken windows, remove water-logged and other items form your home that may cause mold to spread. Document them and do not dispose of any property until your insurance carrier has had a chance to inspect it.

If you need help in the handling of your claim, please do not hesitate to contact our office via email (info@FulgencioLaw.com) or phone: 813.463.0123.