Pennsylvania Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claims
One of the largest and most powerful storms ever to hit the Northeastern United States made landfall on October 29, 2012 as Hurricane Sandy battered the Eastern seaboard, causing untold amounts of damage and destruction. Thirteen different states were affected by the devastation, with extreme flooding and wind damage leveling homes, disabling businesses, and putting property owners on the hook for millions of dollars in damages. While some of those affected by the hurricane’s destruction will be able to recover the full value of their covered losses through an insurance claim, many more will become involved in disputes with their insurance companies over the extent of the damage sustained, the value of the property lost, and the scope of their coverage.
At Williams Kherkher, our experienced legal team understands the many complex aspects of a hurricane insurance claim, and can help you to take the steps necessary to protect your rights and interests from unfair business practices commonly undertaken by insurance companies to avoid fulfilling their obligations under a policy. If your insurer is attempting to pressure you into accepting an underpayment, unreasonably delaying payment on your claim, or has denied a valid claim outright, the sooner you take action — the better. To get started on your claim, call our experienced Pennsylvania insurance claims lawyers today at 888-384-6376.
What happens after the storm?
Following significant storms such as Sandy, insurance companies are swamped with tens of thousands of claims which they must rapidly process, and in an effort to handle these claims, they often hire independent adjusting companies for the purposes of inspecting the damaged properties. These claims are not always effectively managed by these adjusting companies however, and an insurer may attempt to utilize a variety of strategies which will minimize their obligation to policyholders and protect their bottom line.
Among the many problems with the so-called independent adjusters is a general lack of experience and an overall bias toward the insurance companies that pay their salaries. Adjusters often fail to effectively investigate and identify hidden damages which become more apparent later on, leaving the property owner with an insufficient payment and thousands of dollars in outstanding damages which should have been covered under the terms of their policy.
There are several steps you should take to protect and enforce your rights.
- Once you have seen to the safety and security of yourself and your family, do everything in reason that you can to limit any further damage to your property. Any costs incurred in this process should be recorded, including money spent on emergency repairs and temporary living accommodations.
- Contact your insurance company as swiftly as possible to report a claim, and obtain a copy of your insurance policy which you can refer to throughout the claims process. Record the time and date you reported the claim and the claim number assigned to your case by the insurance company.
- Take notes and records of your interactions with the insurance company and any insurance adjuster you work with, such as the times and dates of your conversations, who you spoke with, and the details of your conversation. When adjusters are on site be sure to record the length of time they spent evaluating the damage, whether they inspected all areas such as the roof, and whether or not they asked relevant questions about lost personal items.
- Create an inventory of your possessions if you did not create one before the storm hit. Photograph any damage to your property and possessions and attempt to obtain receipts or invoices for any upgrades or renovations you made to the property and your personal possessions.
Is there someone who can help me recover everything I am entitled to under my policy?
Without professional training and experience, insurance policies can be extremely difficult to fully understand. An unscrupulous insurance company may attempt to take advantage of this by pressuring you to accept an underpayment, acting inappropriately, creating delays in your claim, or unreasonably denying your claim.
Often, the best way to get all the money you are entitled to under your policy and the law is to turn the settlement process over to a law firm that understands the law, and can help you make a strong case for full payment. The Hurricane Sandy lawyers at Williams Kherkher have the experience, knowledge, and resources necessary to protect your rights and interests against unscrupulous business practices, and will work diligently to help you maximize your claim and move forward with your recovery. To learn more about your legal options, call us today at Williams Kherkher.