When Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle, Georgia, and the Carolinas on October 11th, it left a long path of devastation and destruction in its wake. Whole homes were entirely demolished by wind damage, others were completely submerged in water, and the city of Mexico Beach was all but destroyed. With winds in excess of 155mph, Hurricane Michael very nearly reached Category 5 status, claimed two lives, and left millions of people devastated.
Floridians know that hurricane damage can be costly. If your home was damaged by Hurricane Michael, you’re probably trying to determine next steps, initiate insurance filings, and explore recovery options. First, ensure your family is safe and secure, then take the following steps to get on the road to financial recovery and maximum insurance payout.
Inspect Your Property For Damage
Carefully scrutinize your home and personal property looking for signs of damage and destruction. Include outbuildings like storage sheds and garages. Also include outdoor furniture, play stations (like swing sets and slides, and entertainment centers (like pools and pool rooms). Be sure to include these outdoor locations in the next step.
Take Detailed Photos and Video
As soon as it’s safe to do so, take as many pictures and videos of your damages and losses as possible. Take close-up and distance photos and photos from a variety of angles. Take pictures before any cleanup begins or any repairs are made. Detailed photos will support insurance claims and may help avoid having your financial recovery minimized.
Create Working Lists
As you assess and photograph your damages, make lists of missing or damaged items, a room-by-room inventory, and any important paperwork. Thoroughly document your losses including as much detail as possible. Also, avoid disposing of damaged items until your insurance adjuster has seen them firsthand.
Make Only Necessary Repairs
Some repairs simply cannot wait for the wheels of the insurance company to turn. You may need to place a tarp over the roof, cover broken windows with boards, and dispose of broken glass. Be careful to repair only what is vital to making your home and family safe. Avoid discarding broken furniture and possessions to ensure the insurance adjuster has an accurate picture of the damage to your property and belongings.
File Your Insurance Claim Early
Many Floridians in Michael’s path will file insurance claims in the days and weeks ahead. Most hurricane and flood insurance companies will assess claims in the order they are received, so getting your claim in early is a smart move.
Consult An Experienced Attorney Early
An experienced attorney will review and understand your insurance policy, personal and property losses, and ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance company. They’ll help maximize your payout, aid in obtaining a speedy financial recovery, and ensure you receive every dollar you’re entitled to.
Loss and damage from Hurricane Michael – the worst hurricane in nearly 160 years – is expected to exceed $10 billion. If your insurance claim is underpaid or outright denied, the lawyers at Kling Law will fight for the outcome you deserve. Contact us today at 833-315-5464. The aftermath of a hurricane can leave you stressed and frustrated. That’s where we come in. Our experienced attorneys help optimize your financial recovery and get back to your family.