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Back September 11, 2019

Hurricane Damage? We can Help!

Recommended Pre-Storm Precautionary Measures

We wish you and your loved ones the best, as Hurricane Florence approaches our coast and we ask that you adequately prepare for the storm, whether you evacuate or secure shelter and necessary supplies such as food,water,first aid kit,prescription medications,flashlights, and cash in large and small bills. We strongly encourage you to yield to the instructions of local, state, and federal emergency management officials and that you comply with any evacuation orders in your area. Further, we recommend that you take necessary steps to secure your property and personal belongings to minimize any potential loss or damage. This may include putting hurricane shutters on your home if you have them and bringing any unsecured items such as patio furniture inside your home or business that may strike your property in heavy wind conditions. Locate copies of any insurance policies that you may have for your home, business, and vehicles that might cover damage from rain, flooding, wind, and other unforeseen causes and that you store the insurance policies in a dry and secure location. You should also ensure that all your insurance premiums have been paid and that your policies are currently in effect. Next take pictures of your property and any valuable belongings and vehicles, and that you store the photos in a safe location such as on a cloud-based program. Include pictures of the roof of your real property if possible.

Post-Storm Actions

After you have verified the safety of your loved ones and yourself, evaluate the condition of your property and personal belongings. In the event that your home, business or vehicle is damaged from the storm, locate the language in any of the applicable insurance policy contracts regarding when you must notify your insurance company of the damage and to whom you must provide notice in the event you need to make a claim. Ensure that you comply with these contract provisions to prevent any denial of coverage from the insurance companies based upon your failure to comply with the notice terms. Remember, insurance companies stay in business by maximizing the amount they charge their insured for coverage, while paying out as little as possible on claims when their clients file them. Don’t give your insurance company any reason to deny your claim at the outset of the process. Next, take pictures of any damage and document the damage to your property. Seek repair estimates for damaged property so that you will not be limited to what an insurance adjuster or a preferred contractor may quote for repairs to your property, which may be potentially less than the amount required to obtain necessary repairs.

Denied Claim

Just think, after years of making timely insurance premium payments, you may face a gruesome ordeal of charades, delays and denials in trying to tap your policy coverage to repair your home, business or vehicle after a hurricane. Many people experience erroneous difficulty getting their insurance companies to honor the commitments they made under the insurance contracts they entered into with their insured. Others have difficulty getting a reasonable amount of compensation from their insurance companies to repair damages to their property or to replace lost or obliterated property. Unsurprisingly, many insurance companies even have a policy of denying most claims in the hopes that their insured will just simply go away. At Biazzo & Panchenko Law, PLLC we can help you and others throughout the state of North Carolina in these situations to hold the insurance companies accountable for their binding obligations and violations of the law. If your insurance company denied your claim for property damage, you may have a civil cause of action for insurer bad faith under North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice laws. These claims may arise in scenarios when insurance companies (1) misrepresent information related to policy coverage; (2) fail to act reasonably promptly upon insured claim communications; (3) fail to pay claims without conducting reasonable investigations; (4) fail to accept or deny claims within a reasonable time after proof-of-loss; (5) fail to attempt good faith settlement discussions with insured parties; (6) extending highly inadequate settlement offers to insured parties; (7) and other situations as defined by law. To ensure the success of a potential insurer bad faith claim and to overturn a denial of an insurance claim, it is important that you seek the assistance and counsel of a licensed North Carolina Insurance Attorney. Your insurance policy is likely riddled with complex, ambiguous, and confusing legal language that is difficult to comprehend and is frequently employed by insurance companies to deny claims. Our attorneys can dissect insurance contracts and identify your rights under the law. We will analyze your policy, negotiate with your insurance company and file and prosecute a lawsuit, if necessary, to obtain the coverage that you are entitled to under the law.

Final Message

As Hurricane Florence approaches our coast we hope and pray that you and your family and friends stay safe and are unharmed by the storm. Please take all proper precautions to ensure that you and your loved ones remain safe whether you remain in your home or whether you evacuate and that you have insurance coverage in place to protect your property. Please heed to the advice, and direction of all local, state and federal emergency management officials. Property can always be replaced, but your life and those of your loved ones cannot. Please do not hesitate to contact Biazzo & Panchenko law, PLLC for a free consultation if you need assistance with an insurance claim and stay safe. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice.

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