The catastrophic damage from Laura, a Category 4 hurricane, devastated Texas and neighboring states. Predictions were tragically accurate. Those who did make it through unscathed are left picking up the pieces of their destroyed property and changed lives.
Natives of the Lone Star State are accustomed to severe weather and the steps to take before and following its aftermath. Warnings about Hurricane Laura’s impending arrival gave Texans some time to prepare. Yet, all the planning in the world cannot come close to controlling Mother Nature’s fury.
The Need for Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
Having homeowner’s insurance is only the beginning, as it reflects the time that the policy was purchased. Vigilance is paramount when it comes to making updates as personal, and business circumstances change. Annually reviewing documents is essential to ensure that coverage continues at the desired dollar limits. Waiting for a significant event like Hurricane Laura before revising a policy could be a recipe for disaster.
Policyholders should also know that the most comprehensive and updated insurance policy will not guarantee that an insurer will provide the necessary coverage. Documenting losses is essential and requires attention to every detail.
Those details start with extensive pictures and videos of the aftermath. Damaged items that usually would be thrown away should be preserved for the insurance company’s inspection. Insurance policies require you to mitigate your damages after a hurricane, including tarp over exposed areas of your roof, plywood over broken windows, and other temporary fixes. Also, keep all receipts and invoices for any related purchases.
Keep in mind that adjusters that insurers dispatch to homes are working for them, not property owners. They are directed to communicate the company’s intentions regarding what they pay for, and the amount homeowners will receive.
Still, all the pictures, videos, and other evidence could lead to a rejected claim.
Victims of Hurricane Laura presume that their insurance policies will cover damages. That presumption could be misguided. Insurance companies often fail to adhere to the guidelines that they establish. Denied claims are often used to discourage policyholders from their pursuit of the money that they are entitled to under the terms of the signed agreement.
In far too many cases, the more extensive the damage, the more likely that the insurer will reject the claim or reduce its value.
Denials, delays, or underpayments that are pennies on the dollar does not have to be the final say. The stakes are far too high. Holding insurance companies accountable to the written agreement they signed helps not only current policyholders, but also future consumers who are equally entitled to full compensation, along with penalties, interest, and damages for “bad faith.”