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Steps to Follow When Your Home or Property Is Damaged from a Hurricane

Hurricanes are devastating forces of nature, leaving behind extensive destruction and emotional turmoil in their wake. Across the United States, hurricane winds and storm-related flooding cause an expected annual cost of $54 billion in damages.

In Orange County, Texas, where these natural phenomena are all too common, these statistics are more than just numbers—they’re a sobering reality for residents who must arm themselves with the proper knowledge and tools to recover from these events.

The Bearden Law Firm, committed to serving the local community, understands the weight of these staggering costs and their profound impact on people’s lives. With dedication and empathy, we provide the following guide to help you navigate the post-hurricane claims process, mitigate financial burdens, and rebuild your life confidently.

Understanding Common Types of Hurricane Damage

Knowledge of the typical damages hurricanes can cause will aid in your assessment and documentation:

  • Roof Devastation: Including torn shingles, sheathing, or complete removal.
  • Interior Destruction: Such as broken doors and windows, leading to water, wind, and rain damage inside.
  • Structure and Foundation Cracks: Winds can shift a home, cracking the foundation, making it unsafe.
  • Equipment Ruin: Appliances and utilities like heating units may need replacement.
  • Utility Disruption: Essential infrastructure might be damaged, resulting in extended repair times.

Keeping Essential Documents Safe

Preparing for a hurricane also includes safeguarding essential documents. FEMA recommends using fireproof and waterproof boxes for legal, financial, and medical papers. Electronic backups can also be stored securely, ensuring they’re readily accessible post-disaster.

Crucial Steps to Take After Sustaining Damage Due to a Hurricane

Navigating the aftermath of a hurricane can be overwhelming. Here are crucial steps to follow if your property sustains damage.

Document Damage Thoroughly

As soon as it’s safe to return, promptly document all damage. Using your smartphone, capture video and photographs of your property’s interior and exterior. Separate damaged items, but don’t discard them; your claims adjuster may need to inspect them later.

Initiate Your Insurance Claim

Time is of the essence when filing a claim. The longer you wait, the more prolonged the process may become. Ensure your insurance company has your current contact information, especially if you’ve evacuated or local communication networks are down.

Document Communication with Your Insurance Company

Written communication is essential when dealing with insurance claims. Request email follow-ups after phone conversations with adjusters and ask essential questions via email. This paper trail ensures accuracy, holds everyone accountable, and provides a tangible record of all discussions, safeguarding your interests throughout the claims process.

Review Your Insurance Policy

Your policy is a binding contract that outlines responsibilities and coverage. Familiarize yourself with its contents or consult an attorney to ensure a clear understanding. Know what’s covered, what’s not, and what duties you and your insurance company must fulfill.

Itemize Your Damaged Items

Compile a list of damaged belongings, including furniture and personal items, and research online for accurate replacement costs. Consider the make and condition of each item. This approach prepares you for a comprehensive claim, streamlining recovery and minimizing potential disputes.

Steps to Follow When Your Home or Property Is Damaged from a Hurricane

Save Receipts for Everything

Every expense matters in the aftermath of a hurricane. From evacuation costs to clean-up fees, diligently keeping all storm-related receipts is essential. By documenting these unexpected expenditures, you are better prepared to understand what your policy may cover, ensuring that you can potentially claim these costs.

Beware Of Hurricane Deductibles

Remember that hurricane deductibles can differ significantly from standard ones, possibly requiring larger out-of-pocket expenses. Knowing your responsibility early in the claims process helps with financial planning. Understanding these details in advance ensures smooth recovery without unexpected financial surprises, allowing you to allocate funds effectively.

Explore FEMA Resources

After hurricane damage, consider exploring assistance from FEMA in addition to insurance claims. This agency may supplement your needs, covering costs that insurance might not and filling gaps in your recovery plan. Investigate their resources to determine your eligibility. This governmental support is designed to assist in times of crisis.

Seek Legal Help

Working with the attorneys at the Bearden Law Firm during the hurricane recovery process offers significant advantages. We understand the complex legal and insurance scenarios and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our expert guidance will help you navigate the confusing claims process, as we advocate for your rights and handle insurance negotiations.

The insurance adjustor is not your friend or your advocate. They are looking out for the best interests of the insurance company. Don’t go through the process alone. An attorney’s support alleviates emotional burdens and often leads to a quicker, more favorable resolution, enabling you to focus on rebuilding.

Recover from Hurricane Damage with Confidence with The Bearden Law Firm

Recovering from a hurricane is a daunting process. The path to rebuilding is paved with complex decisions and potential pitfalls. However, with the right guidance and meticulous planning, you can navigate this challenging time with confidence.

The Bearden Law Firm, located in the heart of Orange County, Texas, stands ready to assist you through each step of your recovery. We live and work in Orange, and have a deep understanding of the local community and a commitment to helping those affected by natural disasters. We are ready to help.

Don’t face this journey alone; we know firsthand the devastating emotional and financial toll a hurricane can have. Give us a call at 409-883-4501 or contact us through our online form to set up your free consultation today. Together, we will help you rebuild and recover.


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