Maryland Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claims
With the landfall of Hurricane Sandy a few miles South of Atlantic City on October 29, 2012, the Eastern seaboard experienced one of the largest and most destructive storms on record in the country. With hurricane force winds experienced from Maine to Virginia and a storm front over 1,040 miles long, hundreds of thousands of property owners have suffered significant damage to their homes and businesses and have only just begun the rebuilding and recovery process.
Hurricane insurance is an essential part of running a business on the coastline, and when functioning properly, such a policy can allow a business owner to recover both the costs of repairing physical damage and the business losses they have sustained while forced to suspend operations. Not all insurance companies are willing to deal fairly however, and many of the commercial policyholders in Maryland are being pressured to accept an underpayment, are experiencing unreasonable delays in payment, or have found their legitimate claim to be denied in full. In such a situation, the sooner you can take action, the better. The only effective response is to obtain the services of a skilled hurricane insurance claims attorney in order to protect your rights and interests as you work towards resolving the conflict.
What Happens Next?
After major storms like Hurricane Sandy make landfall, insurance companies must scramble to address the tens of thousands of claims they will receive in the days and weeks following the disaster. This typically entails employing the services of independent adjusting companies which will provide the manpower to inspect the huge volume of claims filed in a timely fashion, a system which in theory should work smoothly to provide service to everyone in need of it. Unfortunately, the process is highly biased in favor of insurance companies as they will take any action they can to minimize their obligation to make payments. By employing strategies such as denying coverage, unreasonably delaying payments, and undervaluing the damage done to a property, insurance companies frequently save millions of dollars by paying less than the full value on the claims they receive.
Among the many problems that policyholders may encounter is the use of under trained independent adjusters who are paid by the insurance company and frequently underestimate damages in a manner which favors the insurance company. The net result of these insufficient inspections is usually a payment which fails to cover the full extent of the repair costs, leaving the policyholder who has paid steep premiums for coverage with an enormous bill to cover the thousands of dollars in repairs and losses that were not paid for by their insurance.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Rights
- Once you are able to access your property safely, take all reasonable measures you can to prevent any further damage to the premises. Any expenses which you incur in this process should be recorded so that you can be compensated for them later on.
- Report your claim immediately to the insurance company, and take care to record the time and date of the call, the name of the representative that you spoke with, and the claim number which is assigned to your case. Additionally, request a copy of your insurance policy if you do not already have one so that you may refer to it throughout the claims process.
- Take detailed notes at all points during the claims process. Record the times and dates which you speak to representatives on, and the name(s) of the individual(s) you speak with. When working directly with the adjuster, take note of the amount of time they spend investigating the property, and what they discuss directly with you with regards to damaged property. Save all copies of correspondence between you and any representative of the insurance company and ask for the names of those who you speak with.
- Create an exhaustive inventory of the property on the premises if this was not done prior to the storm. Use photographs to demonstrate damage and attempt to track down any receipts or invoices for purchases and upgrades that you have made to the property since purchasing it.
Who Can Help Me Recover What I am Entitled To Under My Policy and According to the Law?
No matter how carefully you record the details of your claim, the complexities of insurance policies are much easier to navigate for insurance professionals and you may find yourself at a disadvantage to a company doing everything it can to avoid making full payment for your business’ losses. If you suffered property damage or loss in Hurricane Sandy and are facing a dispute with your insurance company for fair compensation, call Williams Kherkher today at 888-384-6376.