If your home or personal property has seen damage from Hurricane Ian, please take photographs and videos of the damage! Do this as soon as possible so you have documentation to provide your insurance carrier if/when you submit a claim for coverage. With respect to your personal property, take photographs of the make and model of the items that have been damaged. This documentation will be important when you attempt to recover funds to replace these items.
Many companies (i.e., tree removal services, water mitigation, dry out, etc.) may knock on your door to see if they can assist you with the clean. While most of these companies are reputable, there are many who are not and are out to make a profit off of your loss. Please read all agreements and contracts before you sign them. Ask questions and get firm quotes and timelines before entering into any agreements. Look at their online reviews and search their name on the Better Business Bureau website. Make sure you know who you are working with as these people are crucial in restoring your home.
If your house is unlivable, ask your insurance company about Additional Living Expenses once you make a claim with your insurance company. If you cannot find a hotel near where you live, ask about renting an AirBnB. If you need to get personal items out of your house to make repairs, ask about getting a storage container delivered to your home so you can store these items on your property.
DO NOT sign a release from any insurance company without speaking to an attorney. The carrier should make undisputed payments that do not require a release to be signed. After a hurricane, carriers typically send many checks to their insureds as more damage is discovered and the claim is adjusted. If you sign a release, these checks will likely end.
There’s a lot more that can come up after a storm, but after dealing with the last two hurricanes, these are just a few recommendations. I also attached a pamphlet from my law firm with helpful information.
If you have any questions about your Hurricane Ian related claims, or the insurance claim process generally, please feel free to call Schwartz Law at 813-537-3600 or email – [email protected]. You can also read more about the hurricane related claims on our blog: