If you have a denied Hurricane Ian claim, all is not lost. You can still take action to save the situation, to get the financial compensation you deserve as an insurance policy holder.
As the fifth most powerful storm to ever hit the mainland U.S. there are currently hundreds of thousands of people making property damage claims. Insurance companies are for-profit and in response are trying to minimize their expenses by denying valid Hurricane Ian claims.
Here’s what you should do next after a denied Hurricane Ian claim:
Steps to Take After a Hurricane Ian Insurance Denial
Call a Property Damage Attorney
Calling a property damage attorney gives you the best chance to salvage your denied Hurricane Ian claim.
The moment the insurance company realizes they’re speaking to an attorney is the moment they stop playing manipulative games.
Our attorneys have worked on the opposite side of the table, so are in a stronger position than most. We know the tricks of the insurance trade and will quickly get your claim reopened and resolved.
Calling a property damage attorney can also put you and your family at ease. You’ll go from fighting the claim alone, to having a legal team on your side with resources to take on the insurance companies. We’ll fight to ensure you get the maximum possible settlement, with minimal stress.
Challenge the Denied Claim
Once you have a denied Hurricane Ian claim, you’ll need to challenge the denial. By doing this via mail or email, you can include detailed evidence to back up your belief the claim has been unfairly denied. Read on to see what should be included in your challenge.
Don’t Believe Your Claim Is Not Closed
Contrary to popular belief, your insurance claim is not a closed book that can’t be opened or accessed again. Your insurance provider may have told you via phone or email, “Your claim is now closed.”
But that just means, “We’ve dealt with it, so we won’t be managing it anymore”. But the records are still there waiting to be opened again if needed.
If you’ve been denied, you can reopen it by sending your insurer more evidence and a convincing argument. Here’s what you need to make that argument:
Show Your Policy Covered the Damage
You may have a denied Hurricane Ian claim for many reasons. For example, they may say that your insurance policy doesn’t fit the coverage requirements.
Well, now it’s time to challenge that, by understanding the situation better than them. Our property damage attorneys can help you with that.
For example, they may say that your policy doesn’t cover flood damage.
But just because it looks like a flood, doesn’t mean it was caused by what the flood insurance policy requires. For example, if you have water damage in your home caused by a Hurricane damaged roof then you likely will be entitled to insurance coverage through your wind damage policy section.
Pull out your policy and read it in detail, so you can say “hey, I am covered!”
Read our guide on: What’s the Difference Between Water Damage & Flood Damage?
Gain More Evidence
Showing an insurance company evidence of damage and its causes is a solid way of getting a denied claim turned around.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Take pictures of your damaged home
- Take pictures of what you believe to be the cause of the damage, such as broken windows, or a damaged roof.
- Provide pre-storm pictures showing the condition of the damaged area before the storm.
- Provide receipts for your damaged appliances and belongings to prove their value.
You may have already done this. If so, now is the time to prove the link between the evidence and the cause of the damage is covered in your policy. Do this in writing, via mail or by email.
Get an Independent Evaluation
Insurance adjusters provided by the insurance company work for the insurance company. They are there to get hired again and again, which means working in their favor. They often overlook damage or outright make bad valuations.
So if you have a denied a Hurricane Ian claim, it’s time to turn the tables. Property damage attorneys can, if necessary, connect you with construction and insurance professionals to evaluate the damage and prepare a repair estimate for your home. This can then be used to argue that the insurance company’s evaluation was wrong.
Read related: How to Determine the Value of Your Hurricane Damage Claim
Never Sign a Release or Take a Low Ball Offer
Once your insurance provider recognizes that you’re not giving up, they make a lowball offer to try to silence you and move on. Don’t give in to that. All insurance customers are entitled to the true value of the damage caused by natural disasters.
They may also ask you to sign a release at this point. This is used to show that you’re happy with their decision. Don’t sign it, or you may lose the chance to negotiate if you realize what they paid you isn’t enough.
Keep a Record of All Conversations
We highly recommend that you keep a record of every communication with the insurer from the denial letter to emails and letters. You should also ask for the name of each insurance representative that you speak to on the phone.
Keeping this information can strengthen your arguments and ensure that the insurer is true to their word.
Watch Out For Bullying and Manipulation
Insurance companies and their representatives must work in good faith. If you experience any manipulation, exploitation or bullying, then you may be able to take legal action as these are ‘bad faith tactics’.
Be wary of:
- Delaying tactics
- Manipulation and/or bullying
- Incorrect policy coverage claims
- Slow responses or no responses
- You’re blamed for the damage
- You’re told you don’t have the right to speak to a lawyer (this is false, you always have the right.)
Contact a Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim Lawyer Today
If you’ve had a denied Hurricane Ian insurance claim, our Florida property damage attorneys can help.
Attorney Jonathon Douglas leads the property damage claim team nationally ranked by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 Law Firm, Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A.
Having previously represented some of the largest insurance companies in the State of Florida, Mr. Douglas uses his inside knowledge and experience to help navigate hurricane insurance disputes.
Regardless of your situation, you can receive a free consultation today.