A Checklist to Protect Your Estate After a Hurricane
Sometimes, there’s no way to avoid the damage and devastation a hurricane causes. The recovery process always takes time. However, there are some steps you can take if you have sustained property damage to make your claims process less taxing and need to protect the interests of your estate.
Below are some tips to help you during this difficult time:
- Document all the damage: Take pictures and video of your entire property and all the damage before you try to make any temporary repairs yourself. This includes all property you own, including appliances, electronics, furniture and vehicles.
- Make temporary repairs: Help prevent further damage from occurring by making temporary repairs to your property, covering up broken windows, moving furniture to sections of the house without damage or standing water and putting tarps on your roof. These are temporary fixes to keep your property intact until the insurance adjuster can visit.
- Review your insurance policy: Find your homeowner’s insurance policy to determine what is covered when you make a claim. For example, flood coverage is often its own separate policy and would not be covered through a homeowner’s insurance policy.
- Save all receipts: You can get coverage for any temporary fixes you made to your home, so keep those receipts on hand. Be sure to also save all estimates for repairs to be made to your property.
- Make your claim in a timely fashion: Insurance companies tend to work on a first-come, first-serve basis. They will also be bogged down after a hurricane or other disaster situation. Get your claim filed with your insurance provider as soon as it’s practical to do so.
- Keep records of everything: Track everyone you speak to and their contact information, along with the date, time and issues discussed. Make copies of everything you give to your insurance adjuster, and always ask for receipts. If an adjuster advises you make repairs on your own, get it writing.
For further information and guidance on how you can protect your estate after a hurricane, consult a knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorney with The Charles Law Offices.