Property Damage Checklist

HELP FROM A BEAUMONT BAD FAITH INSURANCE ATTORNEY

Recovering from property damage can be a long and stressful process that often creates substantial expenses that you cannot afford on your own. To make matters worse, insurance providers will often act in bad faith and will do all they can to underestimate the amount that they owe you. Being prepared for disasters and taking the right steps following property damage can have an immensely positive impact on your ability to receive a fair settlement, especially when dealing with insurance companies.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

It is crucial to be prepared for events that can inflict damage to your property. At Brasher Law Firm, PLLC, we want to help you understand your responsibility for taking all necessary precautions and actions to avoid any further damage and ensure you can receive the funds you need from your insurance agency.
Steps to take before and after a damaging event include the following:
  • Take numerous pictures of your property beforehand to keep as evidence of damage in the event of a disaster striking.
  • Get a copy of your insurance policy to keep as a personal reference.
  • Designate emergency contacts and let them know where you will be after a disaster.
  • Ensure the health and safety of your loved ones when disaster strikes and seek any medical attention that may be necessary.
  • Compile all records from responders for official statements from the fire department, police department, or other emergency response teams that were on scene immediately after the damaging event took place.
  • Document all damaged items and do not throw anything away, as every item has potential value in an insurance claim.
  • Secure your home or building after property damage to avoid further loss.
    • Turn off gas, water, and electricity.
    • Hire a professional to tarp damaged roofs and document the expenses.
    • Keep people out by using a simple, temporary barrier around the perimeter of your property such as yellow caution tape.
  • Contact your utility companies to alert them of the damage and discuss how to handle utilities.
  • Avoid vandalism or looting by boarding up windows and doors and contacting your local police to request additional neighborhood patrolling.
  • Check up on your property regularly to ensure that it has not been further damaged, vandalized, or burglarized. Document any changes.
  • Keep personal property safe by securing valuables; consider temporarily placing items in storage.
  • File a claim immediately and retain legal representation, so that your lawyer can be with you at every stage to ensure you are being treated fairly by your insurance provider.
  • Document your living expenses in the days, weeks, or months following a disaster to record any abnormal or excessive costs—such as hotels, food, or gas—made necessary by property damage.
  • Keep up with your bills by continuing to make all mortgage and insurance payments on time.

YOUR BEST CHANCE AT A FAIR SETTLEMENT

When you have filed a claim with your insurance provider for property damage, it is important that you do everything you can to maximize the settlement they offer you. As insurance agencies are in the business of profiting, they want to ensure that they pay you as little as possible, so preparation, organization, and attention to detail are vital. This is something that a Texas bad faith insurance lawyer can help you with.
In order to get the most out of your property damage claim, you must:
  • Prove the damages. Document any and all signs of damage to your property through before and after pictures. The more detailed and thorough the evidence, the higher the value.
  • Obtain good estimates. Do your research and find the best companies for repair work that will give you the greatest value at the highest quality.
  • Define the scope of work. Be thorough and complete in defining the full scope of work that will be required to repair all damages on your property.
  • Negotiate settlement offers. Don’t automatically accept the initial offer you receive. Insurance agencies are notorious for low-balling their policy holders. Make sure you are receiving the full amount you are due, and hire a competent attorney to help you negotiate a fair settlement.

RETAIN LEGAL REPRESENTATION FROM AN AGGRESSIVE ATTORNEY

Even when you do everything right, insurance agencies can still be stubborn and difficult to deal with. The most important step to take following property damage is to hire a Texas insurance bad faith lawyer from Brasher Law Firm, PLLC. With a combined 22 years of legal experience and numerous credentials to our name, you can be sure that we can help you face insurance companies with aggression and proficiency. Your recovery is our top priority, so we work only on contingency fees so that you don’t pay us unless you win.
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