Hurricane season around the Atlantic typically peaks each year in August and September, and this year has proven no different. Hurricane Sally and Hurricane Laura have left hundreds of thousands of people across Florida and the surrounding states with property damage and no power.
Ensuring your home is properly prepared for hurricane season is essential to reduce potential damage to your belongings and help you and your family stay safe. Here are some steps you can take to protect your home before a natural disaster hits.
Take an Inventory of your Property
Start by surveying your home and tallying your possessions before the start of hurricane season each year. If you claim damage to a specific part of your home, you want to ensure that you have the proper evidence to show the insurance company what type of physical damage was caused; that way, you can be properly reimbursed for everything you should be.
There are specific apps that you can download on your smartphone that allow you to create a home inventory and include descriptions of each item to have on file for later. Some home inventory apps that you may want to check out include:
Make Any Necessary Adjustments
After surveying your home, you should make any needed adjustments to reduce the potential damage to your belongings from a storm, flood, wind, or hurricane. As an insured homeowner, you have an obligation to mitigate the damages to your property as best you can. We know this is not always possible when disaster strikes, but taking a few extra steps can help you save your belongings as well as reduce the risk of a potential claim denial later on:
- Check for Leaks. Check doors, windows, walls, and other areas that may have openings and allow water to enter.
- Trim Trees and Shrubbery. Trim back any branches touching your home that may cause water damage or pull off parts of your roof during a storm.
- Clean Your Gutters. This can prevent potential roof damage and flooding inside your home.
- Secure Your Home. A few highly recommended security measures include window shutters, garage door braces, and roof clips.
- Replace Landscape Material. Replace gravel or rocks with soft mutch; dead or dying trees and shrubs should be trimmed or removed.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Before hurricane season rolls around, make sure to double-check your insurance policies that would cover property damage to your home and belongings should you sustain losses in a storm. You may want to consider adding flood insurance, as many homeowner insurance policies cover damage caused by a hurricane but not a flood.
If you are unsure about the exact wording of your specific policy and what is covered, you should speak with an insurance claims attorney who can review your policy and help you determine whether you are in need of additional coverage.
Contact a Property Damage Claims Attorney
If your life was thrown off track because of hurricane damage to your home, the Law Offices of John D. Ameen is here to protect your rights and help you obtain sufficient reimbursement from your insurance company to cover the extent of your losses.
We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for you and your family. Our caring legal team is standing by ready to help negotiate with the insurance company so you can make your home whole again as quickly as possible.
Contact our Fort Lauderdale insurance claims attorneys at (800) 953-2858 to get started with a no-fee, no-obligation consultation today.