Hurricane Sally is just one of many storms that have threatened the safety of those living on the gulf coast, by causing devastating rainfall and flooding. All Louisiana residents living along the coast know too well how catastrophic the impact of a hurricane can be. Millions of Louisiana residents have suffered the consequences of hurricanes; a single hurricane can destroy a lifetime of hard work in a matter of hours. So, how do you pick up the pieces after a hurricane hits?
Many Businesses and Individuals Carry Hurricane Insurance
Because of the high number of hurricanes that affect New Orleans and the surrounding areas, many New Orleans businesses and residents carry insurance policies with hurricane damage provisions. Suppose you have an insurance policy with a hurricane provision. In that case, you pay premiums each month and rightfully expect your insurance carrier to cover the damage that could occur to your home or business because of a hurricane.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are known for trying to avoid paying hurricane insurance claims. Insurance companies are for-profit companies that seek to deny hurricane insurance claims for any reason possible, including many new technicalities. What happens if you have suffered hurricane damage in your business or home, and an insurance company has outright denied you coverage or underpaid you for your claim? In that case, you will benefit from representation by an experienced New Orleans hurricane insurance lawyer.
Fighting Against Bad Faith Insurance Denials
Under Louisiana law, insurance companies must treat their policyholders fairly, and handle their hurricane insurance claims reasonably. However, this rarely happens, especially in Louisiana, where so many people file hurricane insurance claims at the same time after devastating weather events. In some cases, the bad actions of an insurance company are extremely obvious and illegal.
Unfortunately, in most cases, insurance companies have become savvy at giving their policyholders the runaround through misleading and dishonest tactics. Many hope that their policyholders will simply give up rather than continue to fight through the red tape to secure the benefits to which they are entitled. If you have heard your insurance company say any of the following statements, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible:
- Your insurance coverage has lapsed
- Your home or business has pre-existing damage caused by something other than a hurricane
- You only need to repair a small part of your roof; you do not need to replace the whole thing
- Water damage caused the damage to your home or business, which is considered flooding damage, and this type of damage is not covered through hurricane insurance
What to Do After You Suffer Hurricane Damage in New Orleans
One of the best things you can do after experiencing hurricane damage is to reach out to an experienced lawyer. At Arnona Rose, Attorneys at Law, we have represented many New Orleans clients, helping them obtain the full amount of compensation they are entitled to through their hurricane insurance policy. We have the resources needed to independently investigate your claim and gather evidence of the extent of your damage. We will also gather evidence proving that a hurricane caused your damage and that your damage qualifies. Additionally, it is wise to take the following steps after hurricane damage.
Take Photos of the Damage
Take as many pictures as possible of the aftermath of the hurricane. Be sure to take pictures of all of the damage to your structure and property, including close up pictures and pictures that show a bigger view of the damage. It is wise to keep pictures of your property from before the hurricane damage, as well. For example, if you know what hurricane is coming through in the next few days, go outside and take pictures of your business or property so you can compare the damage caused by the hurricane to your undamaged building.
These types of comparisons are often incredibly important when dealing with insurance companies. As mentioned above, many insurance companies will try to claim that the hurricane has not caused damage to your home or business, but instead, that the damage already existed. When you have dated before and after photos of your property, it is easier to prove that the hurricane did indeed cause the damage and that you are entitled to the full amount of compensation available under your hurricane insurance policy.
Keep Accurate Records
Experiencing hurricane damage is always extremely frustrating and draining, no matter how many New Orleans Hurricanes you have endured. It can be difficult to know exactly what to do after your property or business becomes damaged. One of the best things you can do is make an accurate list of all of the property and items that are damaged. Many people think about filing an insurance claim for outward structural damage, but they may not consider seeking compensation for personal property and furniture that became damaged. We recommend going through your entire home with a camera and a notepad and recording every single piece of personal property that became damaged. Take a photo of the damaged item and write down the item’s name and how much you paid for it.
We also recommend keeping a detailed record of all communication you have had with your insurance company. Insurance companies can be incredibly sneaky, and they can try to get policyholders to admit that their property was already damaged. Whenever you speak to the insurance company, write down what you said, the time, and the date. If you need to make temporary repairs to prevent more significant damage, do so, but be sure you save all of the receipts. Similarly, save all of the paperwork involved with your claim, as you may need it later.
Contact Us Today
The best thing you can do after suffering hurricane damage to your home or business is to contact an experienced New Orleans hurricane insurance lawyer. At Arnona Rose, Attorneys at Law, We have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies to secure our clients the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.