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How does a hurricane claim and settlement work?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2021 | Firm News |

Louisiana residents find themselves concerned about impending hurricanes, as these natural disasters may impact the state. Home and business owners might look towards their insurance policies for financial protection after suffering losses from a storm. The settlement process isn’t complicated, but there could be issues that hold up sought-after payments.

The claim filing process

Anyone interested in filing a claim might wish to avoid delays. The insurance company’s adjuster could better assess the immediate aftermath of the storm and its damage. Claimants may also take photos and record video images of damage to better preserve documentary evidence.

The home or business may need to make temporary repairs. If windows end up shattered, for example, boarding them up right away seems advisable. Perhaps moving forward and replacing the windows could be unavoidable. Keeping receipts for any work performed may prove helpful later.

No matter the circumstances, the policy only pays to its limits, and there might be a deductible. So, if the policy limit for a specific type of damage is $100,000 with a $4,000 deductible and the damage is $105,000, the minimum out-of-pocket expense would be $9,000.

Issues to be aware of when settling a claim

An insurance policy spells out exclusions not covered under the terms. If flood damage is not covered under a homeowner policy, then filing a claim for flood losses will yield to a shift denial. Unfortunately, questions may exist about whether the damage comes from a flood or a leak. Disputes could arise, and a denial may lead to an appeal or a lawsuit.

The claimant might not possess enough experience to handle settlement negotiations. The claimant may make oversights when it comes to providing evidence, which might hurt the settlement process. Hiring an attorney to work with the adjuster could counter low or unfair offers.

Hurricane claims could prove more challenging than a policyholder initially believed. An attorney may assist someone seeking to settle a claim. The attorney could negotiate the settlement and, if necessary, take legal action.