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How Do I Prepare for an Insurance Adjuster After Hurricane Ian in Florida?
You prepare for an insurance adjuster after Hurricane Ian in Florida by securing your home from further damage, complying with all lawful documentation requests, and preserving evidence of your losses. These actions will help you meet your duty to prevent further damage while creating a paper trail of your property’s damage.
In this article, the Florida property damage claims lawyer at The Innocent Law Firm shares six (6) helpful tips:
Step 1. Secure the Property from Further Damage
Most insurance policies require you to secure your property to mitigate further damage. You do not need to perform significant construction or cleanup. For example, if your windows are broken, board them up temporarily to deter vandalism or prevent post-hurricane precipitation from entering your home.
Step 2. Complete All Insurance Forms
Your insurance company will require documentation of your losses to reimburse you. They accomplish this, in part, by having you complete multiple forms, including a household inventory of damaged items. Most insurers have forms on hand that record each individual item, including a description, purchase date, and value. The insurance adjuster will take these details into account when assessing your settlement.
Related Article: Public Adjuster vs. Attorney: What Is the Difference?
Step 3. Preserve Evidence of the Damage
Take several photos of your property before the insurance adjuster arrives. Conditions could change between now and then, so you will want to have evidence of your property damage as it existed when you filed your claim. Photo, video, or eyewitness evidence can also become a lifesaver if the insurance company denies your claim, in whole or in part.
Step 4. Make No Self-Incriminating Statements
Insurance adjusters visit your property to assess the damage. That means they can also take your statements into account. Avoid speculating about pre-existing damage, damage mitigation efforts, and other relevant details. Otherwise, they could try to reduce your property damage claim settlement based on negligence or failure to mitigate damages under Florida Standard Jury Instructions § 504.9.
Related Article: What Are an Insured’s Duties After an Accident or Loss?
Step 5. Evaluate the Settlement Offer Carefully
The first insurance settlement offer is rarely the best possible outcome for the situation. If you feel the amount offered for Hurricane Ian’s damage is too low, you might be right. However, once you accept their offer and sign a release, you cannot ask for additional compensation in the future.
Step 6. Get the Opinion of a Florida Property Damage Attorney
Run your settlement offer by a property damage claims attorney in Florida to determine its reasonableness. We have knowledge and experience that allows us to review the facts of your case and assess whether or not you should accept it. If your insurer is not paying what your case is worth, you can hire an attorney to renegotiate their offer.
Call The Innocent Law Firm for a Free Consultation
The Florida property damage lawyer at The Innocent Law Firm aggressively approaches the Hurricane Ian negotiating table. Find out what we think of your insurance settlement offer during Your Free Consultation at 954-903-1737 or online.
We do not get paid for our time and resources unless you win your claim.