TAMPA - Attorney Charles Gallagher specializes in weather-related claims, and he offers this advice for homeowners.
1. Plan Ahead: Spring Cleaning----Evaluate Insurance Needs
What is my term of Insurance?
Is my insurance limit sufficient considering mortgage and cost to rebuild?
Does my insurance cover sinkhole damage and to what extent?
Do I have replacement cost coverage (RCV) or do I only have Actual Cash Value?
Does my policy require that I specifically "schedule" any contends (jewelry, coins, currency, etc)?
Ensure policy is in effect before storm season
2. Prepare Your Claim
Photographs of interior of rooms before storm
Video Walk Through of Home and Garage
Assemble/Keep Receipts, Warranty Information and Proof of Ownership
Keep policy, policy number and claim reporting phone number in a waterproof container
3. Document Your Claim
Photos of all damage
Video of all damages
Price Replacement Contents
Retain Damaged Contents for Adjuster's Inspection
4. Emergency Repairs
Policy's Mitigation of Damages Clause
Policy's Reasonable Repairs Clause
Cover Openings in Dwelling: Tarps/Duct Tape
Reasonable Repair Measures
5. Cooperate with Insurance Claim Investigation
Insurance policy has post loss obligations
Report claim timely and accurately
Provide pictures, inventory of lost/damaged contents
Exhibit your property for inspection
Proof of Loss and/or Examination Under Oath
Failure to cooperate can result in claim denial