Greetings from my home in Boca Raton (smack dab in Hurricane Matthew’s path), just a few hours before the brunt of Hurricane Matthew is felt in Florida. I would be remiss if I did not impart a last minute tip that could save folks a whole heck of a lot of headache when insurance claims start to arise from Hurricane Matthew – if you have not already done so, use these last few hours before the storm to adequately document the interior and exterior of your property … photos, photos, videos, videos, photos, videos, videos, photos … then some more photos and videos. And, better yet, try to date and time stamp your photos and videos.
It goes without saying to adequately photograph and videotape your property after a storm, of course; but, do not forget to also do so before the storm. This will help you navigate a very popular coverage exclusion that the insurance company will try to wield against you to avoid payment – “well, that damage you’re claiming actually pre-existed Hurricane Matthew… so, yep, sorry, claim denied.” The insurance company’s pre-existing damage maneuvering will come at you in different forms, of course – failure to maintain, wear and tear, neglect, failure to protect your property, and et cetera. So, if your photographs and videos depict a lovely property before the storm, that will go a long way in ensuring full(er) and quick(er) claim payment following Hurricane Matthew.
Also, if you are able to SAFELY photograph and videotape your property during Hurricane Matthew (like if the interior of your home springs a leak in the middle of the storm, or you can hear structural components of your home snapping and popping, or you have hurricane proof windows such that you are not shuttered in and can photograph and videotape the outside of your property during the storm), do that too!
This advice goes out to the homeowner, the commercial property owner, public adjusters who should be blasting this advice out to family, friends, current clients, past clients … EVERYBODY. Again, you have a few hours before Hurricane Matthew is fully upon us … use your time wisely by heeding this important advice and by, of course, continuing to compile food, water, gas, and et cetera.
Stay safe! And certainly do not hesitate to contact us if your insurance company plays games with you after Hurricane Matthew does its dirty deeds…