Calculating Hurricane Damage Compensation in Texas
Insurance helps us respond to disasters with strength by providing the funds we need to rebuild our damaged properties, homes, businesses, and replace our lost valuables. Understanding the procedures insurance companies use to provide relief aid will help make the recovery process smoother.
The Road to Recovery
After you have presented a claim for damages, an insurance adjuster will come out to inspect your property damage and verify lost possessions. If you have already found a contractor who will help you rebuild, be sure they are also present the day the insurance adjuster visits you. Your contractor can help explain the rebuilding estimates you are facing to the insurance adjuster.
Depending on the adjuster’s evaluation, your insurer will then offer compensation based on the total damages suffered. It’s important to be aware that this amount can be negotiated; homeowners are not forced to accept the first offer they get from an insurance company. This is another opportunity to have a contractor offer the true cost of repairs in case an insurance company is paying less than you expect or need.
If you believe your insurance company is failing to account for all damages, you can also hire an independent insurance adjuster to help negotiate your claim.
Finally, how claims are repaid will be affected if your home is still owned by a mortgage company. In this case, you will not receive the insurance funds directly, and instead will have to endorse a check that goes on to the mortgage company. Most of the work done to rebuild the home will have to be approved by the mortgage company, which usually means building contractors will be reviewed, and payments will be split into multiple parts based on their progress.
Policy Differences to Be Aware Of
How much money the insurance company will pay for repairs depends on a few factors, all of which will be spelled out in your policy details.
First, there is a difference between paying replacement costs versus the actual cash value. Replacement costs are usually higher, since this uses the present-day cost of a new item that is purchased as a replacement.
An actual cash value refund is often less than the replacement cost, since the actual value of your items have gone down over time due to wear and tear.
Home insurance companies also charge a deductible fee for any item that they are replacing. This deductible amount is how much the homeowner is expected to pay towards the replacement of items. Insurance companies usually charge higher deductibles for damages caused by certain events like hurricanes, so this is another difference in policies to pay attention to.
Additional Policy Benefits
The cost of rebuilding after a tragedy often includes more than just the value of your possessions; there are also lost wages, relocation expenses, and other factors you can take into consideration. The insurance policy you have been paying monthly premiums toward should tell you what other benefits you can take advantage of to repay expenses incurred because of a hurricane or other disaster.
Most plans include Additional Living Expense (ALE) benefits, to help you pay for the cost of hotels, food, and transportation after a disaster forces you to find shelter.
Cleanup fees can also be reimbursed by insurance, as the process of clearing downed trees and building structures is often the first priority in any disaster. In this case, be sure to keep all receipts as evidence of payment toward any rebuilding effort.
Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys Here to Help You
At Millin & Millin, we are dedicated to helping you get your insurance to pay out what is owed to you.
If you are having to file an insurance claim, it’s likely due to the fact that you have just suffered through a terrible event. Having to deal with the unscrupulous tactics of an insurance company is the last thing you need on your plate during this time.
Depend on the responsiveness of the legal team at Millin & Millin. We know how to deal with insurance companies acting in bad faith and can help you obtain the
compensation that is owed to you.