5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Hurricane Ian Claim

Making a Hurricane Ian Claim

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Table of Contents

Being hit by a powerful storm like a hurricane may be unsettling on many levels. Feeling anxious and unclear about what to do before and after the storm is common. You must, however, avoid a few blunders while filing your Hurricane Ian insurance claim. If specific steps are not taken, your insurance claim may be in jeopardy, and you may not receive the money you are due for your Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim.

Here are five common mistakes to avoid when dealing with your homeowner insurance company after a hurricane.

Ready to hire a lawyer? Complete the form below and we’ll connect you with a hurricane damage lawyer.


1. Communicating with the Insurance Company without Counsel and Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Your homeowner insurance company has a team of lawyers, adjusters, and experts (like engineers and contractors) reviewing your claim to determine whether the insurance company can deny it or, if they must cover your claim, pay you as little as possible. You should have a team on your side, too. You should hire a hurricane insurance lawyer to protect you and your family, and make sure you get the money you deserve to fix your house. Your lawyer can assist in defending your rights and stop you from saying something that could jeopardize your case. Additionally, your lawyer will know the value of your Hurricane Ian claim.

Further, the insurance company’s first offer very often is less than what is required to fully repair your house and replace your damaged property. Say no, and consult with a lawyer to make sure you get what you deserve. 

2. Failing to Promptly Tell Your Insurance Company about Your Hurricane Ian Claim

Not contacting your homeowner’s insurance provider promptly after a hurricane is one of the most frequent errors homeowners make. Failing to do so could jeopardize your claim. The reason is that your insurance policy obligated you to promptly notify your insurance company of any damage to your home. It is to your advantage to tell your insurance company about your claim as soon as reasonably possible.

3. Failing to Prevent Further Damage After a Hurricane

You also must do your best to stop any future harm to your property after the storm. This is known as “mitigating your damages.” Your insurance policy and the law requires that you mitigate your damages to prevent further losses to your home. For example, this means putting a tarp on your roof, or boarding up or covering a broken window. If a hole in your roof or window will allow water to continue to come inside, don’t wait to fix it. Take pictures and video of the damaged area, and then take action to prevent further losses. Do it as soon as possible; don’t wait until the insurance adjuster arrives for an inspection. Do everything you can to keep your house safe. If you don’t and it sustains additional damage, your insurance provider can decline to cover it.

4. Working with Unlicensed Contractors

Ensure the contractor you select to fix the damage to your house has the appropriate state, county, and city licenses. It is essential to work with a professional contractor because

  • They’re insured, and
  • They are more likely to do the work properly.

Although you might save money using an unlicensed contractor, it is not worthwhile. If you do this in the long run, you might pay a steep price.

Ready to hire a lawyer? Complete the form below and we’ll connect you with a hurricane damage lawyer.


5. Ignoring the Advice of a Hurricane Damage Attorney

In Florida, homeowners that have legal representation typically obtain higher compensation for their storm claims. An adept Hurricane Ian lawyer can help you negotiate a reasonable settlement and get the money you need to repair your property. And, if necessary, they can take your case to trial and convince a jury to award you the money the insurance company refuses to pay. However, because many homeowners believe they must pay money upfront to hire an attorney, many refrain from engaging an attorney. Most Florida hurricane lawyers do not require you to pay them in advance to hire them. In many Hurricane Ian claims your insurance company will be required to pay your attorney’s fees and costs. If the insurance company is not, your lawyer will charge you a percentage of your recovery. If the lawyer does not recover anything for you, you likely will not owe your lawyer any money.

Even if you don’t think you need to hire a lawyer, it never hurts to have a qualified advocate who can review your claim and ensure your insurance provider treats you fairly under the law. Most lawyers do not charge for initial consultations, and will not ask you to pay for such consultations even if you decide not to hire them.

Marc A. Wites is a founding shareholder of The Wites & Rogers with over 28 years of trial experience and has achieved great results for his clients. Marc has a natural talent for litigation and a passion for representing policyholders in their disputes against major insurance corporations.

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