I Don’t Have a Lot of Hurricane Damage So Why Should I Make a Claim — or Call a Lawyer?
Hurricanes are a part of life in South Louisiana. It’s not a matter of if, but when the next major hurricane will strike. Hurricanes can cause hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars worth of damage to a home and surrounding property. Smart Louisiana homeowners purchase insurance to protect their property in the event of hurricane-related damage.
What action you take after a hurricane depends on the extent of damage done to your home and property. If your home has only sustained minimal damage after a hurricane, you may be wondering if you should file a claim with your insurance company or hire a lawyer. Before you make your decision, make sure you get an independent, professional assessment of the total damage done to your home.
No Matter How Much Damage You Have, It’s Your Decision Whether to Make a Claim After a Hurricane
If your deductible is $1,000 and your total damages are less than that, it doesn’t make any sense to file a claim. How much above your deductible the damage has to be before you file a claim is up to you. If damages are a few hundred to a thousand above your deductible, whether or not you decide to file a claim will depend on your financial resources.
One reason to consider making a claim even when the damages do not exceed your deductible is the possibility of another storm damaging your property within the same calendar year. The named storm deductible is an annual deductible, so if you have a $5,000.00 deductible and the first storm causes $4,000.00 of damage, then a second storm causes $4,000.00 of damage, you should receive $3,000.00 from your insurance company after the second storm.
Generally speaking, you should make a claim against your policy after any storm hits even if you don’t have a lot of hurricane damage. The insurance company cannot drop your insurance or raise your rates for making a claim after a named storm. If they do, contact an New Orleans hurricane claims attorney to assist you because you have rights.
When to Hire an Insurance Claims Attorney
After a hurricane, your insurance company is required by law to make a timely decision about your claim. They must treat you fairly and promptly pay for any damages covered under your policy. If the insurance company refuses to pay your claim or only part of it, they must tell you in writing why they’ve made their decision.
The state of Louisiana has many laws that protect homeowners from bad faith actions by an insurance company. If there’s a dispute over the total amount of damages done to your home, or the insurance has delayed or refused to address your claim, you may need to hire an insurance claims attorney to protect your rights.
One area where an attorney can be especially useful is determining the total amount of damage done to your home and property. This is important because many of the types of damages caused by hurricanes are not immediately obvious. This includes structural damage to your roof, walls, flooring and foundation. It often requires an expert or specialist to identify these types of damage.
JJC Law will provide professional adjusters, inspectors, and contractors at no upfront charge to you, so there is nothing to lose except the chance to identify a problem now and have your insurance pay for it, as it should.
If You’re Having Problems With Your Insurance Company, JJC Law Can Help
Have your negotiations with the insurance company come to a standstill? When an insurance company undervalues your claim, doesn’t investigate your claim in a timely manner, unfairly delays payment, or outright denies the claim, the New Orleans hurricane insurance attorneys at JJC Law are here to protect your rights.
JJC Law is committed to helping you obtain the full compensation you need to restore your home to the condition it was in before the hurricane hit. We have many years of experience representing individual and business policyholders in insurance claim disputes. Call us today at (504) 513-8820 or contact us online to discuss your New Orleans hurricane claims today.