If your home was damaged by a hurricane in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, local contractors might be overworked and overbooked. If you have a reliable contractor that you know and trust, he or she may have a backlog of jobs to get done after the storm and you may have to wait for your turn to get your home repaired. Even if you can find a reliable contractor, the cost of repairs after a hurricane might be much higher than the cost of repairs when there is no rush for work. It’s just the law of supply and demand. After a storm, there may be more demand for materials and labor and less supply. Some homeowners might wonder whether they can do their home repairs themselves and make an insurance claim for the work done. Can this be done? The short answer is possibly. If the repairs are simple, like patching up a hole in drywall, your home insurance company might pay for you to perform the repairs yourself. However, if the repair is more complex, and involves water damage, or a broken pipe, your home insurance company may want you to hire a professional. Before making any home repairs yourself, you should always contact your insurance adjuster in writing, inform him or her of your plans, and get approval before starting any work.
There can be additional complications if you don’t know how to make proper repairs. For example, if you are not a licensed contractor yourself and don’t know local laws or codes, or if you fail to perform the repair properly, your insurance company may not reimburse you for additional expenses you might incur if work needs to be fixed and re-done. If you want to perform home repairs yourself after a hurricane, you may want to speak to a lawyer so that you can gain an understanding of your rights under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Furthermore, you may not be able to be compensated for your time and labor if you make the repairs yourself. Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC are hurricane insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to assist you with the claims process.
Some Concerns That Can Arise When Making Hurricane Repairs Yourself
If you plan to make hurricane repairs yourself, it is important to understand the scope of the repairs, local laws, and your own abilities, as well as whether your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of you choosing to perform the repairs yourself. What are some important questions you should ask before making repairs to your home yourself after a hurricane? Here are a few:
- Will your homeowner’s insurance pay for you to perform hurricane damage repairs yourself?
- Are you legally permitted to perform the work? In some areas, individuals performing certain types of work may need to hold special licenses or have permits.
- If you have a mortgage on your home, you may need to ask your lender whether you are permitted to perform hurricane repairs on your home yourself. Your bank has an interest in keeping your home in good condition. If repairs made on your home aren’t to code or aren’t legal, your home’s value could decrease.
- Can you do the work? Sometimes our ambitions exceed our abilities. Do you know how to perform the required repairs, and even if you do, is it worth it to spend the time and energy performing the repair yourself?
These are just some questions you may want to ask yourself before embarking on a post-hurricane DIY project. While some minor repairs can be done by homeowners, more complex repairs involving electrical systems, plumbing, or structural damage might be best left to the experts. If you are having difficulty making a claim or getting the settlement you believe you may deserve, contact Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, hurricane insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today.
Understanding How DIY Repairs Could Impact Future Claims
One final thing to consider before embarking on any do-it-yourself hurricane repair project is that any repairs you make could potentially impact future claims. It is important that you get the repairs right. If the insurance company finds that prior repairs weren’t properly performed and then your home or property is damaged in a storm, your insurance company could potentially deny your claim on the basis that repairs weren’t properly performed the first time around. One way you can protect yourself is to have any repairs you perform inspected by a professional and keep the records. If you are planning to make repairs on your home yourself, contact Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, hurricane insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to learn more. Our attorneys can review your claim, review your insurance policy, and review the kind of settlement insurance companies might be offering you. Our attorneys work with insurance companies and with homeowners to help them get the settlement they may deserve after a storm.