Hurricane Hermine recently made landfall along Florida’s Big Bend Coast and tore a swath in a northeastern direction before reducing to a powerful tropical storm. From Tallahassee to Alligator Point to Citrus County, damage was extensive and expensive. Further south, 20 inches of rainfall inundated Pasco County and caused an estimated $40 million in damages to structures, including 9 destroyed homes and 297 others with significant structural damage. Citrus County reports a similar cost estimation and believes close to 2,000 structures have been damaged.
For residents not directly affected by Hurricane Hermine, it has served as a grim reminder that the 2016 hurricane season in Florida is only halfway through. Historically, hurricanes can hit the coasts or push inward until as late as the end of November, starting up again in June. If another massive storm comes to your hometown and damages your property, will you know what to do?
Filing a Hurricane Damage Claim
At the start of each hurricane season, you should take photographs of your home and property. Get a thorough catalogue of the area to show what it should look like if the weather remains calm. If you haven’t done this already for the 2016 season, do it as soon as you can. Don’t forget to include adjacent structures, such as garages, stables, or barns. It is also smart to include your automobile and other valuable items. Once your pictures are taken, save them locally and to a remote system, such as cloud storage or a friend’s email account who lives across the country, in case a hurricane ruins your own hard drives.
During a hurricane, you should always practice best safety procedures. You can find plenty of helpful information at the National Weather Service & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website by clicking here. Once the hurricane has passed and it is safe to exit your shelter or return to the area, you will want to access your previously stored catalogue of photos and try to replicate it shot for shot as best you can. This will create a clear before-and-after lineup of pictures you can use when filing your claim. You should also upload these new pictures to remote hard drives to create a timestamp of when they were taken.
Lastly, you should have an attorney at the ready in case your homeowner’s insurance company rejects, denies, or minimizes your claim. At Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC, our Martin County hurricane damage claims lawyers can help you stand up to your insurance company and fight for the coverage you expect and deserve. Call 866.675.4427 today if you need to schedule a free consultation with our team.