New York Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claims
Few storms in recent history have caused as much damage and loss as Hurricane Sandy did when it hit the Northeastern part of the United States on October 29, 2012, tearing through thirteen states from Maine to Virginia. With winds reaching up to 90 mph and crossing over 1,000 miles, millions of people in New York and along the East Coast suffered extensive loss due to wind and flooding damage.
Hurricanes that cause as much damage as Hurricane Sandy end up costing Americans millions of dollars due to damage from wind, flooding, and flying debris. Because many people invest in insurance policies to protect them financially when disasters of this scale occur, they trust that they can rely on their insurance company to provide financial assistance after suffering such damage. Unfortunately, a number of insurance companies fail to follow these policies and, instead, act in bad faith, causing deserving people to be unfairly compensated or to suffer from further complications.
What Happens Next?
Because storms as large as Hurricane Sandy affect millions of people, insurance companies typically find themselves with thousands of insurance claims to deal with in the aftermath. Despite the number of claims a company receives, they should always handle each claim according to the person’s policy and with complete fairness. However, in an effort to deal with these claims as quickly as possible, insurance companies often turn to independent adjusters for help inspecting properties and evaluating claims. Sadly, this often leads to many errors being made and allows for insurance companies to unfairly deny legitimate claims, delay processing of claims, underpay claims, or misrepresent facts, resulting in considerable losses for deserving policyholders.
Although these tactics often save insurance companies millions of dollars, it unduly harms innocent victims of accidents and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. Because insurance companies are more likely to hire adjusters that are more likely to be inexperienced, make errors, and improperly evaluate damage after disasters like Hurricane Sandy, many people end up being further victimized as they are forced to pay thousands in order to make up the difference between the actual damage or loss that they have experienced and what their insurance company paid them.
Steps You Can Take
There are several steps that every policyholder should take to protect their rights:
- Prevent further damage to your home and property. By taking the necessary steps as soon as you are safely able to, you can protect your home, vehicles, and other personal property from suffering further damage and costing you more money.
- Either find your copy of your insurance policy or request one from your insurance provider so you know what is covered under your policy. You should also make sure to file a claim as soon as possible, make a copy of this claim, and note the details, such as who the claim was filed with, the number assigned to your claim, and when it was filed.
- Make sure to keep detailed and written or typed records of everything related to your claim. Whether you speak on the phone with a representative or an adjuster visits your property, note every detail, including time, date, details of the interaction, amounts of damage discussed or evaluated, how long the interaction was, and more. This also includes making copies of or keeping written correspondence that you receive.
- Make a record of your property. Whether you had one previously or need to create one now, make sure to have a record of all your property, which should include as many receipts for purchase or renovations made as possible, and note property that has suffered damage and to what extent it was damaged.
Understanding Your Rights under the Law
Filing an insurance claim for damage suffered in Hurricane Sandy is already a complicated and intricate process. But when an insurance company or adjuster does not adhere to the terms of your policy and underpays or under evaluates your claim and damage, this process can seem impossible to manage. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, you may be able to get the financial assistance you desperately need after such a natural disaster. Speak with a legal professional from Williams Kherkher by calling 888-384-6376 to learn more.