Ask an Insurance Claim Lawyer: When to start home repairs after a natural disaster
If a natural disaster has caused significant damage to your home, you may be tempted to begin repairs right away. However, those repairs could lead to issues if you’ve filed an insurance claim.
First and foremost, immediate minor repairs and temporary fixes are a good idea if they prevent major damage. Also, make sure there is no immediate danger to the structural integrity or foundation of your home. If the home is not livable, you should consider staying elsewhere like a hotel. Some policies will reimburse you for expenses incurred after you’ve filed an insurance claim. For example, if you’ve filed a hurricane insurance claim for your roof, then it’s perfectly reasonable to put a tarp over the area to prevent further water damage.
Once you’ve filed your home insurance claim, an adjuster will come to document your damage. In some cases they work for the insurance company, however if you retain the services of an insurance claim lawyer, they will provide their own adjuster that is independent of your insurance provider.
The adjuster will document the damage to your home with photographs and damage assessment write ups that will serve as official copies to submit to your insurance company. Once you have confirmation of the actual documentation, then you can set out to begin repairs.
In some cases, however, the expense of repairs are too great and therefore you must go through the legal motions of an insurance claim. Fortunately, insurance companies are legally obligated to act quickly and swiftly on your behalf. In legal terms, it’s called “duty of good faith and fair dealing.”
If you have any questions, or you think you need an insurance claim lawyer to review your case for free, you can contact us or call us directly at 954-315-1155.