Surviving a hurricane is a feat in and of itself. Getting the financial compensation you need—and deserve—from the insurance company after a storm can be just as challenging, especially if you need to repair a condo or apartment building.
When you need to take care of repairs and damaged property, you don’t have the luxury of dealing with the insurance company’s excuses. In this blog, our team of hurricane damage lawyers outlines common challenges in getting a fair settlement after a storm, the steps you can take to protect your claim, and how working with an experienced attorney can make the difference in your case.
Understand the Unique Challenges in Your Property Damage Claim
Property damage claims for condos, large apartment buildings, and businesses associated with homeowners’ associations (HOAs) work differently than a single-family property. Different parts of condos and other shared properties can be insured under multiple policies, depending on the type of damage, what part of the building was damaged, and more, depending on your unique situation. For instance, the roof might be insured through the HOA, but the dwelling interior under a personal policy.
Depending on your situation, you may need to submit claims through your HOA, your insurance company, or some other option. And without a clear understanding of your policy or policies and what they cover, you risk getting cheated out of the settlement you deserve.
What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Property
There are steps you can take in the days, weeks, and months after a hurricane to protect the value of your property, the lives of your tenants and neighbors, and your claim.
Determine and Document the Extent of the Damage
After a storm, it’s essential to document the extent of the damages carefully. As best you can, take photos of your property and the areas that need repairing. Then, get a professional—a builder, plumber, electrician, roofer, or someone else, depending on your situation—to assess the destruction and provide an estimate for repairs. In addition to your photos and testimony, their reports will form the basis of your claim or case.
“After a storm, it’s essential to document the extent of the damages carefully. As best you can, take photos of your property and the areas that need repairing. Then, get a professional—a builder, plumber, electrician, roofer, or someone else, depending on your situation—to assess the destruction and provide an estimate for repairs. In addition to your photos and testimony, their reports will form the basis of your claim or case.”
Reports are also essential for any claim your HOA may need to file.
Understand Who’s Responsible for Repairs
Unlike an individual homeowner’s insurance policy, certain types of damage to a shared unit are filed through an HOA. You will need to determine if the damage is covered by an insurance policy, which policy it’s covered by, and who is responsible for filing those claims and carrying out those repairs.
File Your Insurance Claim
Once you understand the extent of the damage, you’ll need to file a claim with the responsible party.
If you’re filing a claim through the HOA, your insurance will require thorough documentation to process your claim. This process usually includes an on-site inspection and exhaustive documentation.
If you’re struggling to get coverage for damage, consider speaking with an attorney who can help you determine the right way to file based on who’s liable for your coverage. Some insurance companies may deny your claim if they believe it’s the HOA’s responsibility—whether that’s the truth or not.
Avoid Further Damage by Making Timely Repairs
Once the insurance company inspects the damage and responds to your claim, it’s in your best interest to make repairs as soon as possible. However, it’s also essential that the repairs are thorough and adequate enough to prevent further damage from occurring.
Insurance companies will sometimes deny property owners’ claims, saying that they “didn’t do enough” to prevent further damage. If this is something the insurance company has said to you, contact an attorney right away.
Consult With an Alabama Property Damage Lawyer Before Signing Anything
When you need to make repairs quickly, it can be tempting to simply accept the insurance company’s first offer so that you have the funds you need. However, the insurance company’s first offer is almost always too low to cover the full cost of everything you need to fix or replace.
“When you need to make repairs quickly, it can be tempting to simply accept the insurance company’s first offer so that you have the funds you need. However, the insurance company’s first offer is almost always too low to cover the full cost of everything you need to fix or replace.”
The one way you can avoid insurance companies taking advantage of you? Consult with an experienced property damage attorney who can help you evaluate the value of your damages to make sure you’re getting a fair settlement.
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Need to File a Successful Property Damage Claim? You Need an Attorney on Your Side
When you need to get the best outcome from your insurance claim possible, it’s time to consider hiring an Alabama property damage attorney.
No matter how experienced you are at managing your property, working with an HOA, or running your business, the insurance adjuster and the insurance company has the resources and tactics to make every offer too low to be fair and the support system to make the process as difficult for you as possible. Working with an experienced attorney is one of the most reliable ways to ensure you’re getting a fair offer.
When you consult the skilled team at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ll conduct a thorough investigation, create a detailed assessment of your property damage and other ruined property, so you have a real, accurate estimate of what your case is worth. We’ll also conduct a thorough analysis of any policies affecting the damaged property and assess for opportunities to get extended coverage based on any extra expenses, income related to your business that’s been affected by the storm damage.
And when it comes to the actual work of negotiating for a fair settlement, we’ll stand up on your behalf, even taking your case to trial if need be.
Need Help After a Storm? Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Today
For over 30 years, the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys team has fought to make sure people like you get a fair chance at a comprehensive settlement.
To learn more about your options, steps to take to protect your case, and how the Andy Citrin team can help, please schedule a free, confidential consultation. Reserve your time today by contacting our team at 251-888-8888 or complete our online form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.