As is well documented by now, Hurricane Sandy rolled through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States in late October this year, demolishing everything in its path. There is no doubt that many people have, and will continue to be, burdened by Sandy’s devastation. Many of our own friends and family here at Akiva Goldman & Associates have been negatively impacted by the storm. Certainly our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by what has now been described as the largest Atlantic hurricane on record.
While the issue may seem trivial to those who lost loved ones in Sandy, it is important for many others to start thinking about how they will pay for what they have lost. Many people are struggling on a daily basis as they attempt to survive the cold weather without electricity or gas. Many others have been left to ponder where they will live moving forward. It is important for everyone involved to be aware of what they can do to process their claims as efficiently and stress-free as possible. As is expected, insurance companies have been overwhelmed with an enormous volume of claims, so the more you do to let your insurer know what you have lost, the more likely you are to get what you are entitled to faster.
If you had property that was in the storm’s path, you have probably contacted your insurance company to make a claim. Or, if you haven’t done so yet, you probably will sometime soon. If you have found yourself in this predicament, and your insurer has low-balled you, or refuses to give you anything at all, there are some things you should do to protect your claim.
- Document Everything
Save receipts for expenses arising from lodging, transportation, meals, utilities, and the cost of repairs; take photographs of property that was destroyed, before and after it was fixed; keep track of all correspondence with your insurer, and request copies of any reports related to inspections made of your house.
- Save Valuable Property
If you own something valuable, do not throw it out as an adjuster may want to see it. There is no better proof that you own something that was destroyed than actually showing it off.
- File Your Claim As Soon As Possible
It goes without saying that the sooner you file your claim, the sooner your insurer will get to you.
- Make Temporary Repairs To Mitigate Damages
Such repairs could include tarping or covering holes, boarding up broken windows and doors and securing loose objects.
- Stay Actively Involved With Your Claim
If the insurance adjuster wants to walk through your property to assess the damage that was caused, you should walk through with him to fill in some of the blanks regarding your property (value, condition, etc.). It may also be beneficial to hire a contractor to walk through with you to give you an idea of what it will cost to fix your property. It is important to cooperate with your insurer. If it requests a deposition or examination under oath (sworn statement), you are required to attend and answer their questions. You should consult with an attorney if requests of this nature are made.
- Hire a Lawyer
If your insurer refuses to give you a fair shake, you should hire a lawyer experienced with insurance claims. Sometimes just a letter made out by an attorney to an insurer is enough to get you what you deserve. Certainly, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to negotiate or litigate, you should contact an attorney to do so on your behalf as soon as possible.
If Sandy cost you property, and your insurer refuses to give you what you believe you are entitled, do not hesitate to contact our office. Our team of legal experts has considerable experience battling insurance companies on behalf of our clients. Akiva Goldman & Associates knows what it takes to help you get what should have been given all along. Contact our Michigan Inurance Claims lawyers for a free consultation or visit us at http://www.akivagoldman.com/michigan-personal-injury.html.