37% of US homeowners claim to have suffered losses due to water damage. Hurricanes caused a total of $51.97 million in damage in 2015. Nearly 60% of Florida homes are not covered by insurance, and if all of Miami were hit by a hurricane it would cause nearly $143 billion worth of damage.
These numbers are staggering. What is even more staggering the fact that some people do not know how to properly navigate their property damage claims, and sink their own cases. At The Berman Law Group, we care about you. As part of our dedication to you, we want to help your case.
1. Accepting the First Offer You Are Given
Insurance companies make money by not paying out what you are owed. When they approach you with an offer, they are often giving you the smallest possible amount that you would take. Some people only see the dollar signs. They take the first offer that they are given.
This is a major error. When you have a little bit more time to prepare, and are not dealing with the emotions that come with dealing with the loss of part of your home, you can get a better deal. Lawyers are experts at helping you receive fair compensation.
2. Failing to Document
When the insurance company assesses your claim, they might say that any damage to your home may have happened before the storm. In order to negate this, it is wise to take pictures of your property before and after the destructive event, so you can make sure that you are covered.
It is wise to take many photographs from many different angles. If you cannot do that, you can write descriptions with the time and date. Generally speaking, the more documentation you have, the better.
3. Admitting Guilt
Never, under any circumstances, apologize for anything if your property has been damaged. It does not matter if it is a car wreck, or a hurricane. Any and all verbal admissions of fault can be taken as a sign that you are culpable. This will seriously hamper your case.
It may seem polite, but do not do it. In American Law, saying sorry is akin to directly admitting fault. When you do this, you are shifting the blame onto yourself. This is one of the worst actions you can do.
4.Taking Your Time
When you think you have a property damage claim, you have to react immediately. Do not try to fix the situation immediately. As was mentioned before, you should document everything that you can, but you should try to take photos of the damage in its natural state. While we understand the urge to make the situation right, this can make your case harder.
You want to prevent confusion later. When there is a gap in time, insurance companies may exploit that and say that the damage was your fault. You need to assess the damage as quickly as possible to get the maximum compensation.
5. Not Hiring a Lawyer
Insurance companies are giants, and are constantly cooking up ploys to not pay you. They know every little dirty trick in the book, and have no scruples about using them. When there is a property damage claim at hand, you need to have a fighter on your side.
The attorneys of The Berman Law Group are aggressive, passionate, and resourceful. When you need a lawyer for your property damage claim in Florida, call 1-800-375-5555. If you have been affected by Hurricane Irma, you should know that there is help available. When you need to make a first party property claim, we can assist you.