Anyone who lives in a part of the US that occasionally experiences hurricanes will be sure to know many of the most common hurricane preparation tips. However, insurance property experts know many less common tips you may have yet to think of.
Whether protecting your patio furniture and swingsets or ensuring your home is safe from groundwater, hurricane preparation is serious business that can save lives and property. Not to mention the stress of dealing with the insurance companies if you have to file a claim.
New Orleans-based property-casualty insurance attorney Galen M. Hair founded Insurance Claim HQ specifically to help people who have their rightful claims denied by insurance companies. He’s very familiar with hurricane damage and the denial tactics of the insurance companies that try to deny clients the funds they are due.
Hair knows all too well that vigilant prep before hurricane season minimizes the damage of hurricane winds on your property. He also knows some prep tips that have served him and his clients well over the years.
“While some of these prep tips and home improvements might take a lot of time, they don’t need to be done all at once and can also be spread out over the year; they don’t all need to be done just before hurricane season,” said Hair.
Below, he shares his favorite lesser-known hurricane prep tips that can safeguard your home and family and all that’s important to you from intense weather conditions.
Document Your Home’s Contents
Hurricane season is almost here, and storms can hit at any time. Therefore, it would be best if you documented all of the contents of your home. Not so much the condition of every door and window, but the items you have inside and their approximate ages and values. As you buy things, keep the receipts in a file as possible evidence for the insurance company should you need it.
Suppose you are in the unfortunate situation of needing them after filing a hurricane damage claim. In that case, you’ll be glad you’ve got them on hand rather than fighting the insurer over every last cent you paid for your laptop or dining room table.
Hair suggests documenting everything from chairs and sofas to the items in your drawers. What brand are they? Where did you buy them? And how much did you pay for them?
“Do all of this now to make your life easier later,” he said. He also recommends taking photos of all your pricey items from multiple angles and doing an annual video walkthrough of your home — it can be a real timesaver once a claim needs to be filed.
Gather All Important Paperwork
Have all the paperwork you’d need to file a claim ready to go in a waterproof plastic file folder. Keep it updated and in an easily accessible place in your home office. This list includes wills, titles, important bank documents, and more.
In case of a full-fledged disaster, Hair suggests uploading copies of each to the cloud so you can access them even if your home is a total loss.
Make An Emergency Plan
Having an emergency plan means thinking through and sharing details with your family about when you would evacuate and under what circumstances.
You need to sit down and discuss where you might go, your route, and transportation.
It would help if you also addressed what you might bring with you. For example, a favorite toy and backup medications might be more valuable than extra socks that you can easily replace. Hair suggests having a hurricane ‘go’ bag ready during hurricane season should the unfortunate need arise to evacuate.
Consider Property Insurance Attorneys
When hurricanes derail your life and the insurance companies are making your life harder, not easier, you may want to hire a property insurance attorney to deal with the paperwork and comb through the fine print for you.
These specialized attorneys evaluate claims to determine what you are due — and tell you how to get it. Develop a game plan for how to get it. You can get an honest, no-holds-barred opinion from a property insurance attorney since they tend only to get paid if they get a settlement for you.
They also analyze evidence, file your claim and handle communication with the insurance company — including denials denied; they can fight back against bad faith litigation.
Hopefully, these tips will keep you from having to go through the devastation of having your home damaged by hurricanes and dealing with insurance companies to get the damages you deserve.
About Galen M Hair
Galen M Hair, Owner at Insurance Claim HQ, is a property insurance attorney who has helped over 1,200 families rebuild their homes and businesses. He has been rated a Super Lawyers Rising Star and voted one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Click here to learn more about protecting your property from disaster: http://www.insuranceclaimhq.com