To file a storm damage insurance claim in Louisiana, the first thing to do is to contact your insurance agent. You want to do this as quickly as possible; the sooner you report the damage, the sooner you can receive compensation for your damages. Filing soon will also allow your agent to corroborate your story with current weather conditions and storm watches.
Your insurance agent will provide you with relevant tasks that you need to do to complete your claim, such as gathering evidence of your losses.
After You Contact Your Insurance Company
After calling your insurance agent and beginning the claims process, there are three things you need to do:
- You can make temporary repairs to make your property safe and, if possible, habitable. Please keep safety in mind – turn off power and gas. You can move sodden or damaged stuff outside to dry. Do not throw anything away until the adjuster has seen it. Take a lot of photographs of the damage both to the property and personal items.
- If you have to move to a hotel, keep all your receipts.
- Do not hire a repair company, start your own significant repairs, or replace personal items until you have spoken with your adjuster.
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Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent
When you contact your insurance company, you should record all communications. Write down the date of the phone call and who you spoke to, along with what you talked about. Keep a separate file with emails or texts you have received as part of your communication with your agent.
While conversating with your insurance company, ask the following questions:
- The name and contact details of everyone that you speak to
- The reference number for your claim: The insurance company will assign a reference number to each case. It makes everything easier to quote the reference when you need to speak to them. Include this number in all communications with your insurer.
- What exactly does my policy cover?
- How long do I have to make a final claim?
- Does my policy cover the cost of hotel accommodations? If so, are there any time limits? Is there a limit on how much I can spend?
- What is my deductible or the sum of money you must pay before my insurance kicks in?
- What is the exact claims procedure that I have to follow?
- When is the adjuster likely to visit?
Insurance Against Flooding
Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by flooding. This can be a problem as flooding severe damage. You will need to take out extra insurance to cover this risk. If you have a mortgage, your lender may insist that you purchase insurance against flooding. If you live on or near a flood zone, it is highly recommended to buy flood insurance.
You can get flood insurance coverage through a private insurer, but this can be expensive if you live in an area with a high risk. You have the option of insuring your property through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This agency operates a national flood insurance program that you might consider.
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The Downside of High Deductibles
You might be tempted to take out an insurance policy with a large deductible. This will undoubtedly mean that your policy is cheaper. However, you are committing to pay this amount towards repairs before the insurance company covers the remaining sum.
If you live in a vulnerable area, make sure that you can afford the deductible. Setting your deductible amount too high may leave you paying more out of pocket later on.
Let Our Legal team Help
Severe storm damage to your property can cause considerable distress and practical problems for you and your loved ones. Most insurance companies will deal with your claim quickly and efficiently. But occasionally, problems do arise. If you find that you are having difficulty with your insurance company, you are not obliged to accept their offer of compensation.
If you find yourself in this situation, you might consider working with an attorney. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we are willing to help you reclaim your home and lost property. Your initial case consultation is free! Call us at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.
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