Large storms and hurricanes can be very unpredictable, and quite often, leave large amounts of damage once they’ve passed. They can leave property ruined, lives lost, businesses destroyed, and sources of income swept away with the passing of a single storm. South Carolina is among the top five states to be hit by hurricanes since the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began recording hurricanes dating back to 1851.
If you have been affected by a large storm or hurricane, first off, we hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound. And when the time comes, we want to help you pursue your insurance claim to recover damages for the destruction that was left behind. As you can imagine, it can be a long, difficult process, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Our experienced and caring attorneys at Templeton, Mims, and Ward, are here to help you during your time of need.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Hurricane or Large Storm
Here in South Carolina, the risk of hurricanes or large tropical storms, is a fact of life from the beginning of June through November. Most residents have healthy respect for the incredible damage that can be done by a hurricane as we’ve all heard the stories of survivors, or even been through a storm or two. Despite the amount of preparation, we often find ourselves defenseless when a hurricane makes landfall creating havoc with cars, houses, and property. If you experience this from a large storm or hurricane, take the nine following steps to file your damage claim as soon as possible.
Steps to Take When Filing a Damage from a Hurricane or Large Storm in South Carolina
Following these steps can help make life easier for both you and the insurance company representatives when dealing with the aftermath of the storm.
- Contact your insurance company and/or agent and file a damage claim as soon as possible.
- Write down your claim number.
- Take photos and/or videos of the damaged property and make notes about the damage, especially if there is structural damage. Do not discard any damaged items until an adjuster has inspected them. If you cannot get to your property, ask your insurer is they have drones and can take photos of the damages.
- Make temporary and basic repairs as soon as possible to prevent damages from worsening.
- Save all receipts for repair and replacements of damaged or destroyed property.
- Keep a journal of conversations with the insurance representatives and others involved with the damage claim. Record the day, time, and name of the person you spoke with, and make notes of monetary amounts mentioned.
- Keep all receipts for living expenses while away such as food, hotel rooms, and other evacuation costs as most homeowner policies that cover wind damage will also cover these costs.
- When the adjuster arrives, ask them if they work for your insurance company or if they are an independent adjuster. If they work for an independent adjuster, ask if they are authorized to make claim decisions and payments on behalf of your insurance company.
Questions to ask the insurance company representative:
- Is the damage incurred covered under your policy?
- How long will it take for your damage claim to be adjusted?
- Who is the adjuster, and who does he work for?
- How long will it take to process your claim after a hurricane?
- What do they need with regard to repair estimates?
- What can and should you do to lessen the damages?
Should I File a Damage Claim with More Than One Insurance Company?
It is very likely that you may have to file a claim with more than one insurer as storm damage comes from many sources such as rain, wind, hail, storm surge, and flooding.
- Generally, standard homeowner’s insurance covers damage caused by heavy wind and hail during a storm. Many policies pay additional living expenses incurred for a specific period of time if you cannot return to you home.
- If you have a damaged vehicle, you will need to make claim on your comprehensive auto coverage
- Belongings or structures damaged by flooding are only covered by flood insurance.
What Is Covered by Flood Insurance in South Carolina?
Flood insurance is designed to cover water damage to your home and belongings that is cause by flood due to storm surge or heavy downpour that builds up faster than it can drain. During a hurricane, tidal surge from the ocean can be pushed toward the shore by the force of the accompanying winds. For most standard homeowners, condos, renters, or mobile homes, flood insurance is not included, but can be purchased separately. Most flood insurance policies are underwritten by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and are delivered to the public by a network of insurance companies and NFIP Direct.
What Is the Insurance Claims Process If I Want Templeton, Mims, and Ward to Handle My Property Damage Claim?
1.) File your claim.
File your hurricane property damages claim with your insurance company online, by phone or in person. Filing a claim simply means letting your insurance company know that you have damages and that you will have a claim.
2.) Consult with your insurance company.
Go through the process with your insurance company by consulting your adjuster and describing your damages (be careful on the recorded statement of how you describe the damages) get an estimate for repairs, and wait for an offer from your insurance company.
3.) Contact Templeton, Mims, and Ward if your offer is not fair.
If you feel that your insurance company is not treating your claim fairly, contact the law offices of Templeton, Mims, and Ward, https://www.tmwlawsc.com and we will help you with this process and get you the compensation you deserve for your lost or damaged property. We serve all of the coastal low country and will be glad to assist you with this trying and difficult process.
We will work to:
- Review your policy and look for any potential issues
- Compile valuations of buildings, equipment, and other losses
- Put together strong evidence offering proof of your damages
- Develop a claims strategy
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
Whether the insurance company doesn’t offer you what you think is fair, or if you simply do not want to deal with the bureaucracy and hassle of handling your claim yourself, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 891-6100. Our experienced team of lawyers have successfully handled numerous property claim cases with stellar results including property damage claims for business and residential and for claims both big and small. We represent the coastal low country and are happy to help you in your time of need.