Louisiana Hurricane Damage Lawyers
Our Baton Rouge Hurricane Insurance Claim Attorneys Help People Rebuild
Residents of Louisiana are no strangers to hurricanes. Often, we find ourselves dealing with minor damage after a storm passes through our area. A person—and their home—might endure dozens of storms before the right one comes and causes significant damage to their property. When this happens, they rightfully expect the insurance company they’ve paid premiums to for years to hold up its end of the deal. Yet, they often don’t. No one should have their life placed on hold while a hurricane insurance company tries to get out of paying a claim.
At Arnold & Itkin, our team of Louisiana hurricane damage claim lawyers has the experience that survivors of hurricanes need to keep their insurance companies accountable. When insurance companies deny a claim, we’ll be ready to investigate damage and push back. When they offer a person less than they deserve, we’ll be there to make sure they know that's unacceptable. We’ve recovered billions of dollars for clients and are ready to protect your rights to help you get your life back on track after the storm.
For help from our Louisiana hurricane damage lawyers, call (888) 493-1629. Your initial consultation is free and we only collect a fee if we obtain results for you.
Hurricane Damage Insurance Claims in Louisiana
As more hurricanes reach Louisiana each year, one thing is becoming clear: dealing with major storms is part of living in the state. In fact, researchers are estimating that the landfall of major storms is becoming more likely each year. While this news is alarming, one of the only things Louisiana residents can do is make sure they have a good hurricane insurance policy. Yet, even this isn’t always enough. Before a storm arrives, one of the most important things a person can do is to create a record of their belongings and the condition of their home. One way they can do this is by making a comprehensive video showing the outside of their home, its interior, and the items that are in it.
When a hurricane passes through an area, it doesn’t just damage one home—it destroys many. While it shouldn’t effect claimants, this means that an insurance company is facing multiple claims after a major storm.
When insurance companies are facing a significant number of claims, they might start trying to protect their profits by unfairly denying or delaying them. This is called bad faith insurance practice. Though illegal, it isn’t uncommon, and claimants should hire an attorney if they think they are experiencing it.
Types of Hurricane Damage
Strong winds and heavy rain are the two most destructive aspects of a hurricane. These two things combine to cause various types of damage to a person’s home and property.
- Surface damage describes things such as broken windows and destroyed roof paneling on a home. This type of damage is more than superficial as it can expose the interior of a home to the elements, increasing the destructive force of a hurricane.
- Structural damage changes the integrity and livability of a home. For example, the flood waters from a hurricane can soak into the woodwork of a home, causing lasting damage that needs to be corrected. If left uncorrected, water damage can cause a structure to be unsafe and can even make residents sick after the development of mold.
Predicting the type of damage a hurricane will inflict on a home is close to impossible. In some instances, a home might sustain broken windows and minor water damage. Or, a home can be destroyed inside and out from the power of wind, rain, and flooding. After a hurricane damages a home in any way, a person will need to file a claim to have it fixed. If the company isn’t being reasonable or is refusing to cover part or all a hurricane’s damage, calling an attorney will help a person decide what to do next.
What to Do After Wind Damage in Louisiana
When your house or business is damaged by strong winds, it’s reasonable to expect that the insurance company you’ve paid for years will repair it. Since wind damage is obvious, it’s hard to imagine an insurer doing anything but quickly covering your losses as it’s supposed to do. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen as we’d expect.
With the state’s hurricanes and tornadoes gaining strength and frequency over the years, making sure you have the right coverage for wind damage is important. According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI), those who’ve had property damage caused by wind should contact their insurer as soon as possible. Importantly, many policies require property owners to protect their property from further damage after a wind-related incident. So, a person might need to make temporary repairs or coverings until their insurance company can assess the situation. The steps a person takes during this time might be reimbursable under a policy.
The LDI also encourages the following actions after wind damage occurs:
- Take pictures or video of the wind damage, your home, and any contents it destroyed.
- Make sure the insurance company has your contact info, especially if you had to evacuate.
- Separate your damaged and undamaged property to help speed the assessment process along.
Call Our Louisiana Wind Damage Attorneys
Most people can’t afford to fix the damage caused by wind without help—that’s why they spend years paying premiums. When disaster strikes, they expect their insurance company to be there for them. When an insurer dodges responsibility by delaying or denying a claim, a person might feel like their entire life has been placed on hold. At Arnold & Itkin, our mission is to level the playing field. Our Louisiana wind insurance lawyers are ready to step in and let your insurance company know that it’s usual tactics won’t be acceptable during your claim. We’ll investigate your claim, demand reasonable compensation, and fight to hold your insurer accountable. If you’re sick of the red tape used by your insurance company, it’s time to call a team that’s ready to cut through it.
What Our Louisiana Hurricane Insurance Firm Can Do
When insurance companies aren’t being fair, our job is to make sure they honor the terms of a client’s policy. Our team is ready to investigate the damages to a home, demand fair compensation, and take an insurance company to trial if needed. We never settle for less than clients deserve and prepared to devote the resources required to hold insurance companies accountable.
Louisiana Hurricane Damage Claim FAQ
What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover?
How much an insurance policy for hurricane damage covers varies from case to case. Many policies only cover damages that happen to the structure of a home and its contents. Other policies cover things that aren’t attached to a home including sheds and garages. Many home insurance policies do not cover flood damage from hurricanes. Homeowners looking for flood protection will likely need to obtain coverage through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Program. In our experience, insurance companies will try to use the narrowest interpretation of a claim possible. They’ll often try to deny coverage they should provide or attempt to split coverage in a way that minimizes how much they’ll pay a claimant.
Do Insurance Companies Really Try to Deny or Delay Valid Hurricane Claims?
Many people believe that insurance companies delay and deny claims to inflate their profits as much as possible. An insurer might delay a claim to frustrate a person into accepting an offer that’s lower than what they deserve. Or, an insurer might deny a claim hoping that a person will accept decision. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Attorney General filed a lawsuit that accused one insurance company of finding ways to minimize payments to claimants. The lawsuit claimed that the insurer "coerced their policyholders into settling their claims of damages for less than their value by editing engineering reports, by delaying payment and by forcing policyholders to litigate claims to receive full value.”
What Is an SIU Adjuster & What Does One Mean for My Hurricane Damage Claim?
An SIU adjuster is from a company’s special investigative insurance unit. Insurance companies assign these investigators when they suspect that a person has made a fraudulent claim or when they want to try and pressure a person into accepting a small settlement. If an SIU adjuster has called you regarding your hurricane damage claim, you should obtain the help of an attorney immediately.
DOES MY POLICY COVER WIND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY SURROUNDING MY HOME?
The answer to this question depends on your insurance policy. Often, home insurance only covers damage to a home and the items inside of it. In some instances, a policy will also cover sheds, garages, and other detached structures. If your car was damaged by the wind, you’ll need to use coverage from your car insurance.
WHAT IF MY INSURANCE COMPANY IS TAKING TOO LONG TO HANDLE MY CLAIM?
Investigating damage after a storm takes time, and many insurance companies use this to their advantage. If your company is delaying or denying a valid claim, they might be using bad faith practices to frustrate you into accepting less than you’re entitled to receive. If this is happening, call Arnold & Itkin. Having help from our attorneys will show your insurance company that its delay or deny tactics won’t be tolerated.
WHAT IF WIND CAUSED WATER DAMAGE TO MY HOME?
Many people don’t realize that their wind insurance claim can involve damage caused by water. While homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it does cover damages caused by other types of water damage. Often, wind damages a home enough to drive rain into it, making water damage caused by wind something that should be compensated under many home insurance policies. If your insurer is falsely claiming that your home’s water damage is from flooding, call Arnold & Itkin LLP today for help.
Call Our Louisiana Hurricane Damage Claims Law Firm Today
At Arnold & Itkin, our Baton Rouge insurance claim law firm has experience helping people with all types of insurance claims, including those involving hurricane damage. When Hurricane Harvey tore through the Gulf Coast states, we were there to demand that residents and businesses were able to receive the compensation they needed from the insurance companies they paid for years. Insurance companies have no right to deny paying policyholders, and we’re ready to be the difference makers you need to move on with your life.
Hold your insurance company accountable by calling our firm today at (888) 493-1629. Our team of Louisiana hurricane damage claim lawyers is ready to fight for the fair compensation that you need and deserve.