I suffered damage during Hurricane Sandy. What steps should I take?
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, many of us are attempting to assess the damage to our homes, cars, and other belongings. In order to ensure that you receive a fair and full coverage for the damage you sustained you need to start taking careful steps by making preparations today. The preparations you make today can make the difference in getting fairly compensated for damages.
Find your policy
Before filing for a Sandy related claim, it is important to know what your insurance policy covers. In this era of increasingly frequent and severe storms many insurers have recently made changes in policies that limit their liability. Many policies now include wind and hurricane deductibles which can range from roughly two to five percent of the home value. However, the good news was that New Jersey Gov. Christie declared that Sandy was not a hurricane at the time of landfall.
If you live near the coast or in an area prone to flooding there is a good chance that you may have federal flood insurance. If you are in doubt, your mortgage may have required this insurance. Generally under the flood insurance damage to utilities and structures are covered. However, personal items are often not covered.
Talk with your insurer
It is very important to be in contact with your insurer if you have suffered storm damage due to the storm. Many insurers will work with you and provide you resources to make quick, short-term fixes to the home that will prevent further damage.
Document the damage
One of the most important steps you can take is to document the damage to your home, vehicle, and other property. One of the best ways to do this is by photographing the damage as soon as it is safe and possible to do so. If you are able, a video can be particularly striking and poignant way to show the damage caused.
If you suffered damage or other losses, you need to act promptly and file your claim. Some policies require losses to be reported within a certain time period. In any case, getting in your claim as quickly as possible will allow for the claims process to begin. The sooner the claims process begins is the sooner you might receive a payment from your insurance company and the sooner you can get your life back to normal.
Contact us today
Joseph Lombardo is an attorney who represents clients in claims against their insurance companies. These clients may have been affected by Sandy in matters related to coverage for injury, home, or business. If you need to file a claim against an insurance company for an injury you suffered or your claim for property or business damage was denied or underpaid, contact Joseph today.