Thunder, lightning, heavy rains, and even quarter-sized hail recently struck
the Borderland community and much of the surrounding area in the El Paso
region of Texas, causing flash-flooding, carrying rocks and other debris
into roadways, and doing immense damage to homes, cars, and other valuable
pieces of property in the area. The sudden storms even affected local
utilities, knocking out power for thousands of people in both east and
west El Paso.
While the rains and hail quickly subsided, for thousands of people the
damage was done and their home, car, or other valuable possessions were
already severely damaged. For many of these affected people, that means
turning to their insurance companies for financial relief. However, as
with any time severe weather deals an immense amount of damage, it’s
important for those who are filing claims to remember they’re not
alone in this regard.
If you’re going to be filing an insurance claim for the damage you
have suffered as a result of these storms, there are a few things you
need to keep in mind to make the process smoother and ultimately get the
outcome you’re looking for.
There Will Be Delays
As is the case whenever severe weather deals tremendous damage to an area,
insurance companies will receive a massive number of claims over the next
few days. As such, delays are inevitable. Processing that many claims
in such a short amount of time is a daunting task, even for the largest
and most experienced teams of adjustors. While your insurance company
should take your statement about the damage and assign you an adjustor
fairly quickly, don’t be surprised if it takes a little bit of time
for your adjustor to return your calls. Remember: you’re not their
only claimant at the moment.
That being said, you have the right as a policy holder to keep your insurance
company accountable and ensure they’re continuing to handle your
claim appropriately, so if it seems as though you’re struggling
to get the answers to questions you have or even responses to phone calls,
don’t be afraid to continue to push them to make sure your claim
is being handled appropriately.
Have Necessary Documentation Ready
If your car has sustained damage from the hail or flooding damage from
the sudden deluge of rain, you’ll want documentation to show its
condition after sustaining the damage as well as before. Take lots of
pictures of the damage, showing the extent of the damage from every possible
angle. Also make a list of any personal possessions that were lost in
the vehicle as a result of the flooding. Also, pull the latest copies
of maintenance or service records and make copies of them to support claims
such as odometer readings. This can help you bolster your claims to the
actual value of your car and make sure any settlements or payouts are
appropriate for how much you’re actually entitled to.
If your home sustains damage, you’ll want to take plenty of pictures
of the damage, including any property that has been lost as a result of
the storm as well. Missing or damaged roof tiles, indoor water damage,
ruined flooring or drywall, and much more are also important things to
document so you can get an honest and accurate valuation of just how much
your losses are worth and how much you should expect your homeowners’
insurance company to pay out to cover your losses.
Talk to an Attorney If Your Claim Is Mishandled
Insurance companies are required to act “in good faith,” meaning
they need to handle your claim honestly and to the best of their ability.
However, some companies will often try to cut corners and save money on
a claim to keep their bottom line intact, particularly after a major storm
leads to a large number of claims like this. Some of these “bad
faith” tactics can include requiring unnecessary paperwork, unreasonably
delaying your claim, or offering significantly less money for a settlement
than you’re actually entitled to. While you might be tempted to
accept this settlement and close your claim, you’ll actually wind
up footing the bill for far more than you should.
If you suspect your claim has been mishandled, you need to reach out to
a trusted insurance claims lawyer from Guerra & Farah, PLLC to discuss
your case in greater detail. Our team has the experience you need to keep
your insurance company accountable and make sure you receive the settlement
you’re entitled to.
Call us today at 888-634-0608 to request a consultation and let us help
you get the claim resolution you need after being impacted by severe weather.