Tornadic activity is rare in Florida, but it does happen on occasion. Unfortunately, if you are in the unlucky minority of Florida property owners who experience tornado damage, you will be forced to deal with filing a claim through your insurer. Fortunately, our experts offer you some essential tips for managing tornado damage property claims in Central Florida.
Tornadoes are known for causing a wide array of damages to property. Fallen trees and roof damages are the most common issues associated with tornadic activity. In addition to these more common occurrences, tornadoes can cause detached awnings, broken doors and windows, spoiled food due to power failure, broken outdoor furniture and equipment, and much more that can make for a significant loss. Sometimes your house may be left uninhabitable, which leads to additional living expenses like staying in a hotel or eating out. These possible costs make it vital to know exactly what your insurance policy covers in case of tornado-related damages. If you do not fully understand your policy coverages, do not be afraid to ask questions of insurance representatives or a public claims adjuster to be sure you do not make costly mistakes during the process.
It is vital to take pictures or videos of any damage you have experienced inside and outside of your dwelling as long as you can do so safely. Many property owners want to begin cleaning up the mess immediately. Still, it is critical to document everything first and never get rid of damaged items until after an insurance adjuster has inspected the damages. Do not get rid of anything you will request replacing, including appliances, food items, broken windows, dishes, lawn care equipment, etc.
If it is safe to do so, you are required by your policy to make every reasonable effort to prevent further damage to your property. For example, if your windows are shattered, you should board them to prevent looting or water damage from precipitation. If you are unsure about the steps you should take, contact your insurance company to inquire about emergency repair assistance to ensure that you do your due diligence to adhere to policy requirements. Remember to hang on to any receipts or invoices for temporary repairs so your insurer can reimburse you for the costs later.
A phone call to your insurance company is always the fastest way to get the information you need about your claim. However, it is always best to have written documentation of your interactions. Do as much of your communication as possible through email to have a clear record of the date, time, name, information, etc. When you have to communicate by phone or in person, do your best to record the exchange. If there is no way to do so, take note of every detail, including name, date, time, conversation details, requests, etc. This information may be helpful during claims negotiations or court proceedings if you have to sue your insurer to get the coverage you paid for.
Most people want to trust that their insurance company has their best interests at heart. Still, it is vital to remember that insurers are for-profit organizations that will always protect their own interests first. If you have a significant loss, do not agree with your insurer's assessment of damages, or cannot handle your property claims in central Florida on your own, reach out to a public claims adjuster today. We are here to help guide you through the process, negotiate on your behalf, and make sure you get the settlement you deserve based on your policy limitations. Contact us today. We are here for you!