Helpful insurance tips after Ian

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:
Hurricane Ian damage in Charlotte County. (Credit: WINK News)

The insurance process can be tricky and difficult to navigate.

If you haven’t filed a claim, do it as soon as possible.

Christopher Smith, managing partner at Goldstein, Buckley, Chechman, Rice & Purtz, said some people wait to claim because they aren’t sure how bad their roof damage is and then a couple of months down the road their roof is leaking.

But Smith said the insurance company can claim they’ve been prejudiced because they didn’t see the leak immediately.

If you’re even a little worried, get it on the record.

Take pictures, videos and everything. Then get crews in there to get your home back in order.

If you haven’t heard from your insurance company even though you filed a claim, Smith said you just have to keep calling.

If you don’t want to deal with your insurance company, you can hire a public adjuster.

Just keep in mind, you’d have to pay them a portion of whatever the insurance company pays out to you, usually around 10%.

So if your insurance company gives you $10,000, you have to give the adjuster a grand.

Hiring or not hiring a public adjuster is completely up to you.

If your claim was denied or they give you what you think is a lowball offer, that’s when you get an attorney involved.

Smith said his law firm is already hearing from people whose insurance companies say, “Oh, that’s flood damage. We aren’t responsible for that,” but there’s a hole in the roof.

He said that’s when the attorney’s resources can potentially prove that the water damage inside could have been from the hole in the roof.

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