All of us are certainly aware of the tragedy caused by Hurricane Sandy. The many thousands who were left homeless or suffered massive property damage during the storm slowly realized that their suffering was only beginning. The number of Hurricane Sandy insurance claims numbered in the thousands and months later many of them have yet to be resolved.
Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claim Denied
For many residents of the Northeast whose homes where flooded, the notice of denial for their insurance claim came as quite a shock. But in truth, many home insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Plus, many residents missed the Hurricane Sandy insurance claim deadline either because of injury or a failure to understand the time frame in which to make a claim. Many today are still unaware that their time to file may be rapidly closing, if not passed altogether.
What follows is insurance claim advice that can be beneficial to those who have gone through a traumatic event.
Insurance Claim Tips
Document & Support Your Claim: Word of mouth simply does not work, especially in a case such as Hurricane Sandy when claim estimates for thousands of families are also needing attention. If disaster has yet to strike your home, the best thing you can do is take a few moments to fully document all the valuables that fall under the insurance plan. Also, if the items are still present, but are destroyed for all intensive purposes you can still get the vital information and document ownership.
A Claim is a Proposal: An important thing to understand about insurance claim issues is that the actual claim you make is more like a proposal that can be negotiated, not set in stone. By looking at it in that light, you can have a better grasps of the property insurance claim problems that you are facing. Insurance companies, especially ones that are stressed by a large event, will try to cut every corner possible. So you need to stand your ground when you can.
Ask Questions: Be proactive when it comes to your property damage claim. For many who have Hurricane Sandy insurance claim questions, they are faced with the problem of getting through to their representatives and getting the right information. If disaster has yet to strike your home, go over your policy and see what is covered and what isn’t. If you are not sure, call up your insurance rep or public adjuster and ask questions. You will want to know what to do in case something happens to your home or property.
Don’t Exaggerate: Resist the temptation to file a claim on items not covered or for coverage you do not have. Again, most homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage, so don’t expect the insurance company to pay. The more items or claims you include that are not covered, the lower on the list of priorities your insurance company will react. Those who have filed proper claims with full documentation will generally get approved much more quickly since everything is backed up.
What to Do when Insurance Claim Delayed: For many, waiting on their insurance claim to go through and suffering one delay after another can be incredibly frustrating. Again, be proactive and ask for insurance claim help if needed. Using a public adjuster in these situations can be a great advantage. Sometimes, the delay is indeed out of the insurance company’s hand when dealing with a large storm and you are waiting in line. However, there are times in which the delay is unnecessary and you can speed things along.
Get a Second Opinion: Did you know if the insurance company rules out part or all of your claim, you can get an insurance claim second opinion? There are places such as independent public adjusters that can help get your claim can be reviewed again. If you have filed everything properly and backed it up with documentation, then your case should be very strong. Only if you are trying to claim something that is not covered will you be denied under those circumstances.
Refile Insurance Claim: If your original claim has been denied and you have lost out on your second opinion, then you can take this opportunity to examine why your claim was denied and re-file if you have a case. You should know why your claim was rejected and if it was for including items that were not covered or a filing technicality or other issue, you can then make corrections and re-file quickly so that you can start the process again.
Victims of Hurricane Sandy
If you need help filing a Hurricane Sandy insurance claim, then you should take the matter to the proper place. An Public Adjuster skilled in insurance coverage may be the best starting point as they understand how state and federal law can play into filing the proper claim.
However, the first step is documenting and verifying all of your losses. This is going to be the basis of your claim. The next step is double checking your insurance policy to insure that you were covered for the damaged that occurred. The tricky part will be what caused the damage if you were not covered by flood insurance. If you are uncertain, a public adjuster will be a great asset to have on your side when going through this process
If you have the proper flood insurance, then you can file a Hurricane Sandy flood insurance claim. If you do not have flood insurance and the only the damage that was caused was by the wind or factors other than flooding you should be covered.
For all those who have watched the tragedy unfold from Hurricane Sandy, it reminds us that being prepared in the face of disaster can save much needed time and effort when tragedy strikes our home. Taking just a few minutes to prepare, cite and document the items covered by your policy and then storing that information securely can save you a great deal of time and effort.
When disaster strikes, the first ones who get their insurance claims accepted are the people who took a little time to prepare a proper list and document all their items. While tragedies like Hurricane Sandy cannot be fully prepared for by any means, at least your claim will stand a much better chance of being accepted in a timely manner.
If you have recently suffered sufficient damage to your home in the North East and areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, Please give us a call at Vermeulen Associates. We have the ability to help assess, document, and submit your property insurance claim and getting you a better settlement from the insurance company.