In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit most of the east of New Jersey, resulting in damage that would take years to repair. Touching down in October, the hurricane resulted in over eight million homes and businesses losing power for days to weeks, and required over 20,000 people to evacuate their homes and seek shelter from the storm.
Initially, Hurricane Sandy was considered a Category 3 storm, but downgraded as it entered the state. Regardless, it caused serious damage – the storm was 1,000 miles wide, and affected nearly half of the United States. The hurricane grounded most transportation, reaching wind speeds of over 80 miles per hour, with pressure consistent with a Category 3 storm. For areas close to the shore, Hurricane Sandy hit particularly hard: the record-breaking high tide caused significant flooding to coastal areas, resulting in unfixable damage to some communities. Many people’s homes and properties were destroyed as a result of the storm, and business, especially those by shore areas, were forced to close long-term or even permanently due to the damage.
Insurance Claims Following Hurricanes
Following a hurricane, you will want to evaluate the damage done to your property as soon as possible. Proper documentation, including photos of the inside and outside of your home, damaged property, and damaged furniture will help your insurance claim be taken seriously. It is also recommended to separate property that has not been damaged from the damaged property to make it easier for a claims adjuster to determine your damaged inventory and settle your claim quicker.
As you are working to submit your claim, you will want to ensure your insurance policy covers the damage done to your property. Some insurance providers will not cover damage done by flooding – even though you cannot control flooding from a storm, you may not be covered for flood damage under your policy.
To ensure you are covered for damage done by tropical storms or hurricanes, you may want to look into coastal insurance. In the state of New Jersey, coastal insurance protects individuals from hurricanes and storms with high winds. Insurance providers that offer coastal insurance often come with separate deductibles to cover for these situations. Before you file a claim with your insurance provider following damage from a storm, be sure to evaluate your deductible to ensure you can cover it ahead of proceeding.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
After you’ve confirmed your insurance plan covers damage done by tropical storms or hurricanes, and you understand what is expected of you in terms of your deductible and claims process, you should feel ready to submit a claim.
Once you’ve sent your claim to your insurance company, you will want to keep track of all following communications you have with the company and what you receive from them in response to your claim. In some situations, insurance companies may not proceed with your claim in good faith, resulting in significant issues and delays in your coverage payout.
Contacting an insurance lawyer in these situations will help you ensure your claims are taken seriously. Insurance attorneys understand not all claims are treated equally: sometimes, insurance companies act in bad faith, ignoring claims or refusing to provide accurate detail and explanation for why a claim was rejected.
The law offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A., have expert New Jersey insurance lawyers available to represent you for legal proceedings following a bad faith claim. Their insurance lawyers understand the legal expectations of insurance providers, and will advocate on your behalf to help you get the coverage you deserve.