Law Office of Brehm Bell
Hurricane Season is Here – Make Sure You Are Ready!
Like all of us that have grown up here on the Gulf Coast, I’m well aware of the damage hurricanes can wreak on our homes, our livelihoods and our communities. It is a steep price we occasionally pay for living in such an incredibly beautiful place. It can sting a lot less if we’ve done some steps ahead of time to prepare.
Most of us know how to prep our homes and care for our families and pets during a storm, but I’ll advise here about what I’ve seen again and again – people being under-insured and not having updated home inventories. These two things are critically important if you are impacted by a hurricane and once the storm hits, it’s too late for either.
We’re in the season now, so I advise making a call to your insurance agent to be sure that your policies are current and sufficient to cover you should the worst occur. This goes for your flood, wind and homeowner policies, so check all of them. Make sure that your coverage includes your main dwelling, personal property and any accessory dwellings, like garages or sheds. If you rent, be sure that you are covered for all your possessions, loss of income and other related issues. When you evacuate, be sure to bring proof of coverage with you, which alleviates some of the headache post-storm.
Also, be sure you have an updated inventory list plus video / photos of your property and contents of your home. This is vital to help rebuild your life if you are impacted by a storm. An easy way to do this is to simply video your entire dwelling, room by room. Open all the cabinets, drawers, closets, etc. and record the contents there. Be sure to walk the exterior of your property as well, including lawn equipment, vehicles, bikes, swing sets, grills – even landscaping. You will need this evidence to move forward with your insurance claim and receive payment to start rebuilding your life post storm.
I’ve successfully fought many cases where insurance was wrongfully denied or not paid in full – including for my own home. If this happens to you, please give me a call and we can help navigate the complicated process of pursuing fair compensation. Hopefully, we can avoid any big hurricanes this year, but the advice of “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst” is solid, especially when it comes to hurricane season.