Hurricane winds rage against palm trees on a beach. The damage done by Hurricane Ian has devastated large swathes of the coastline, especially in Florida and South Carolina. With Hurricane Ian causing $50 to $65 billion in insured damages, this September 2022 storm was the second-highest insured loss on record after Hurricane Katrina. Many victims of Hurricane Ian are struggling to rebuild after the loss of loved ones, damage to their property, and destruction of their homes.

If you were affected by Hurricane Ian, you may have questions or concerns about how to recover and move forward after such a tragedy. The hurricane insurance attorneys at Disaster Insurance Claims explain how to make the claims process as hassle-free as possible and maximize your settlement to be sure you get every dollar you need. 

Photograph the Damage Before You Fix It

If your home has been damaged by Hurricane Ian, the first step is to take photographs and videos of the damage from as many angles as possible before you begin making repairs. This will ensure that you have sufficient documentation of the damage for your insurance claim.

Take pictures of any personal belongings that have been damaged as well. If you are able to find pictures of items that have been completely lost, perhaps on social media or in photo albums, collect these as proof of ownership for the lost items. This will help you make an evidence-backed list of what needs to be replaced or repaired.

Once you have taken photos of the damage, contact your insurance company to start the claims process BEFORE proceeding with fixing or cleaning up your property.

Get Estimates From Multiple Contractors

A contractor inspects hurricane damage in order to determine a repair estimate.

When it comes to filing a hurricane insurance claim, one of the most important things you can do to ensure the maximum payout is to get estimates from multiple contractors. Getting at least three estimates from three different contractors will give you a good idea of what the average cost of the repairs will be. It is also a good way to make sure that you are not being overcharged by any one contractor.

Another benefit to receiving multiple estimates is that this will be further proof for the insurance company to see what your claim is worth. If only one contractor is giving you a high estimate, for example, the insurance company may believe that this is an outlier and not a fair appraisal of your losses. With three or more estimates of similar value, it will be harder for them to deny you the money you need.

After you have compared the estimates from the different contractors, you will need to choose the contractor that you feel offers the best value for the repairs that need to be done. Be sure to get everything in writing before the work begins and keep a record of any signed documents and receipts.

Let Your Attorney Deal With the Insurance Adjuster

If you’re like most people, the idea of dealing with insurance adjusters after a hurricane is enough to make your head spin. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters are a necessary evil when it comes to filing a Hurricane Ian insurance claim. 

Insurance adjusters often don’t have your best interests in mind, and their main goal is to underpay your claim to save the insurance company money. They may use dubious tactics to convince you that agreeing to their low offer is your best (or only) option.

The good news is that you don’t have to face them alone. The lawyers at Disaster Insurance Claims have years of experience dealing with insurance adjusters, and we know all the tricks they use to try to lowball claimants. We’ll handle all the negotiations for you, making sure you get the maximum amount of money you’re entitled to under your policy as quickly as possible.

If you reach a standstill with the insurance company or are not being offered what your Hurricane Ian damages are worth, this is the time to contact us for help with your claim.

Don’t Lose Hope After a Denial

An attorney shows a client how she can appeal her hurricane insurance claim denial.

Probably the most seemingly devastating outcome in a hurricane insurance claim is a denial. You may feel like you have nowhere to turn after your claim is denied, and the situation may very well seem unfair when you desperately need the money to get your life back. However, it is important to not lose hope and to understand that there are still options available to you.

The first step is to contact Disaster Insurance Claims for your free policy review. We will examine the details of the denial explanation letter alongside your insurance policy to determine if there are any discrepancies. If we find that the insurance company made a mistake or did not consider all of the facts, we will help you file an appeal. 

Appealing a denied insurance claim requires deadlines to be met, additional evidence to be provided, and most likely, a complicated negotiation process. Fortunately, we at Disaster Insurance Claims have been helping our neighbors in Florida, South Carolina, and across the southeastern U.S. file claims and appeal denials for hurricane damage for years, collecting over $950 million for policyholders to date.

If you’re one of the many individuals who suffered from the devastating effects of Hurricane Ian, give us a call today so we can begin moving forward together.