Hurricane Irma Aftermath
Hurricane Irma has finished its path across Florida and has since been
deescalated into a tropical depression over Georgia and South Carolina.
In its wake, it has caused widespread damage and power outages throughout
Florida due to its heavy rainfall, flooding, and gale force winds. People
must now assess the damage wrought upon their home, boats, and other valued
property, and prepare to file a Hurricane Irma damage claim with their
Steps to Take After Hurricane Irma
Restore power slowly: Turning on all electronics and appliances at once after safely reentering
your property can overload the electrical grid and cause a power outage.
Start with your refrigerator and gradually turn on or plug in other devices
Photograph everything: With safety matters addressed, it is time to start documenting the damage
you see. Your smartphone’s camera will be your best tool for recording
the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Turn on a timestamp feature if there
is one before snapping pictures of water, wind, and debris damage all
around your property. Do not forget to catalogue damage to valuable property
besides your house, such as boats and automobiles.
Review your insurance policy: If you have a copy of your insurance policies on-hand or can find them
online, take a moment to look them all over. See what your policy limits
are and what they cover. Does your homeowners’ insurance include
storm surge coverage? Is your boat covered if it was thrown onto dry land
by a hurricane? You should know.
Challenging Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
After a natural disaster that is the size and scale of Hurricane Irma,
insurance companies will be called upon by droves of people who need financial
help and deserve full coverage. In an effort to try to save on costs,
some insurance companies may become dishonest and resort to bad faith
insurance strategies that put consumers and policy holders at unfair disadvantages.
Keep your eyes open for any of these behaviors from your property or boat
insurer, which could be bad faith insurance:
Delay: Insurance companies are supposed to send out an insurance adjuster as soon
as possible to investigate reported damages and come up with an idea of
how much coverage needs to be granted to the policy holder. Bad faith
insurance occurs if a company needlessly waits to send out an adjuster
or otherwise puts delays in the handling of a client’s claim, such
as requesting additional copies of already-provided paperwork without reason.
Denial: Following Hurricane Irma, an insurance company desperate to save its bottom
line may outright deny claims without following the proper steps or giving
acceptable reasons for doing so. If your Hurricane Irma damage claim for
your house or boat is denied with a generic letter that cites no specific
reasoning, it is probably a surefire sign of bad faith insurance.
Devalued: Instead of denying or delaying the handling of a Hurricane Irma claim,
a dishonest insurance carrier may choose to lowball coverage amounts.
People unaware of the unreasonably low offer may choose to accept it and
end up being shorted thousands of dollars’ worth of coverage they
should have been given.
If you think bad faith insurance is interrupting your Hurricane Irma damage
claim, or if you would like to avoid any issues in the first place, you can contact
Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez, Attorneys at Law. Our Tampa trial attorneys
can help review your filed claim and stand up to insurance companies that
use unsavory business tactics. Call
813.774.3341 today to schedule a
free case evaluation
with our highly-experienced, highly-praised team.