Storm damage is becoming increasingly common as the planet warms and mother nature’s wrath grows that much stronger. If your home in New Orleans or elsewhere has not yet endured storm damage, there is a good chance it will at some point in the future. Do not wallow in self-pity after this unfortunate event. Our New Orleans legal team is here to help those dealing with storm damage. Here is exactly what you should do after the storm passes.
Secure Your Property
If the storm caused visible damage to your property, try to cover it up to prevent leaks. Use a tarpaulin or another large item to limit the damage. Though applying a tarpaulin to a section of your home compromised by a storm might seem like putting a band-aid on an ax wound, this additional protection just might prevent water damage, mold and ensuing sickness.
Document the Damage
When in doubt, document more than you think is necessary. Take pictures of the damage to your home from different angles and distances. Start on the exterior of the home and gradually transition indoors as you document all aspects of the storm damage. Try to get the entirety of your house in the pictures. The snapshots should include each side of your house. If you do not want to climb a ladder to take pictures of the roof, hire a professional roofer to perform the documentation and analysis on your behalf. Instruct the roofer to take multiple snapshots of the compromised portions of the roof from several different angles to put the full extent of the damage on display.
Do not forget to take snapshots of your yard as well. Take the widest possible shot to show the full extent of the damage. Continue to move closer as you take even more pictures to fully document the details of the damage. Take pictures of the damage to individual rooms within your home. Snap some shots of the specific items damaged as well. Documenting the storm damage is not complete until you perform a written inventory. If possible, perform this documentation immediately after the storm to provide the insurance company with dated evidence of the damage.
Take a Look at Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Examine your homeowner’s insurance policy to get a sense of what types of storm damage are covered. There is a chance your homeowner’s insurance policy language will be vague, confusing or possibly even explicitly exclude the damage stemming from the storm. The sad truth is most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover every type of damage stemming from storms. In fact, some types of storm damage necessitate a completely unique policy.
Meet With a New Orleans Attorney
You will need an attorney to analyze the language of your homeowner’s insurance policy. More importantly, this legal practitioner will handle discussions with the insurance provider. If necessary, your attorney will pursue litigation to obtain compensation for storm-related damage to your home that should have been covered by the insurance policy. You should not have to argue with the insurance company representative after this depressing event. The insurance provider will look for every reason to deny your claim, making the situation that much more stressful. Some will even exploit legal loopholes hidden in the the policy’s small print to deny your claim or pay less than they should.
The bottom line is you need a savvy attorney on your side to understand the nuances of your unique homeowner’s insurance policy. Your attorney will fiercely advocate on your behalf to obtain the compensation you need and deserve for home repairs. In fact, some insurance providers will immediately approve a claim after receiving correspondence from an attorney. The addition of “Esq.” (short for esquire) after an attorney’s signature really does get the wheels of justice in motion.