When you first think about your hurricane season winter prep, you might be thinking about how you will prepare your home.
However, one of the most important things you can add to your hurricane season winter prep list is to check your insurance policies.
As a homeowner, property owner, or business owner in Louisiana, you know how important it is to make sure you have the appropriate protections when hurricane season rolls around. Here are some of the most important things you should prepare for as you get your insurance policies ready for next year’s hurricane season.
First, Review Your Personal Property
Now that we are officially into winter, there is no better time to begin prepping your home for the 2022 hurricane season. But the technical details can be handled closer to hurricane season, when the supplies and equipment you need will be more readily available.
One of the first things you should do this winter is start reviewing your personal property. You need to take an inventory of everything you own in your home and your personal possessions as a whole. If you have to file an insurance claim after a hurricane, this comprehensive inventory of your possessions can help you obtain the funds and benefits that you are entitled to.
Since you are prepping for the upcoming hurricane season, you can also use this review to determine whether it is in your family’s best interests to increase the amount of your insurance policies. Remember, the insurance company is only going to be required to pay out up to the value of your claim. Make sure you have enough protection to cover your family in full if a devastating hurricane hits next year.
Go Over Your Insurance Policies
In the off-season, it may be a good time to go through and start to make repairs to your home. You might also use this time to replace any of your belongings. If you choose to make these repairs and upgrades, it is important to make adjustments to your insurance policies. But you should also make sure that you understand exactly what your insurance policy covers.
For example, if you purchased homeowners insurance, you might have assumed that your homeowners insurance policy also covered flood damage. But this is rarely the case. In fact, you may need to purchase a completely separate policy for flood and wind-blown water damage.
You should also be sure to take a look at the specific details of your policy. Do you have enough coverage? What is your deductible? This is the amount of money that you will need to pay upfront before the insurance company will be willing to provide you with an insurance settlement.
Furthermore, some policies are specific to the type of storm. For example, damage caused by a hurricane would be much different from damage caused by a windstorm. Understanding the difference could have a dramatic impact on how much you could recover from the insurance company when you file a claim.
What Types of Insurance to Have for Hurricane Season
As you are going through your existing insurance policies, you should start to take note of what types of coverage you might be lacking. There are multiple types of insurance you should have to protect you this coming hurricane season.
In addition to your homeowners or renters insurance policies, you will also want to be sure to add the following types of insurance coverage, where applicable:
- Mobile home insurance
- Boat insurance
- Flood insurance
- Sewer backup insurance
- Comprehensive auto insurance
How Much Hurricane Damage Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
The personal inventory of your home will help you to determine how much insurance coverage you need to prepare for hurricane season. You will want to be sure that your homeowners insurance policy provides enough for you to completely rebuild or repair your home in the event of a total loss.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what it will cost to rebuild your home, as opposed to the costs of making extensive repairs caused by hurricane damage. This will help you determine how much coverage you should purchase.
Generally speaking, many homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage for up to 70% of the amount of insurance you purchased for the structure of your home. Renters insurance provides protection for only your personal possessions, as the landlord’s homeowners insurance will cover any structural damage.
You may also be able to protect yourself by purchasing enough coverage to cover your additional living expenses. These might include the costs of living in a hotel, eating at restaurants, buying new clothing or school supplies for your children, and other necessary living expenses that you may rely on while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.
What to Do If You Need to File a Hurricane Damage Insurance Claim
If you need to file a hurricane damage insurance claim with your insurance company, be sure to contact your attorney first. Insurance companies are for-profit companies. They will lose money by paying out on your claim.
Although you purchase your insurance policy to protect you, the insurance company will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying you what you deserve.
To file your claim, speak with your attorney and go over your damages in detail. Your attorney can help you to prepare your claim, and ensure that all the necessary supporting documentation is provided to the insurance company.
The insurance company may still attempt to deny you the benefits that you are entitled to, but working with an attorney will show them how seriously you are taking your claim.
Get Help From a Louisiana Hurricane Damage Attorney
If your home, business, or other property suffers serious damage due to a hurricane, and the insurance company is making it difficult for you to access the benefits that are rightfully yours, you need a strong legal advocate on your side. Reach out to our experienced Louisiana hurricane damage attorneys at Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest today.
AKD Law will fight tirelessly to recover the compensation you are entitled to. Schedule your free consultation when you call our law firm at (504) 618-1624. Or fill out our quick contact form, and we will reach out to you to find out more about the hurricane damage your property sustained.