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 Farah Law 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.