FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. Hurricane Michael has caused widespread devastation across the Florida Panhandle and into Georgia. While the focus in the coming weeks will be on the homes damages and homeowner’s insurance claims, if your car was damaged in the storm, you also may have the right to make a claim. According to Business Insider, if your car suffered water damage, if windows were shattered due to falling debris and strong winds, or if the structural integrity of your car was damaged due to the storm, you will be entitled to make a claim if you have comprehensive insurance coverage. However, if you were involved in an accident due to wet roads, or if another car struck your car, you may be entitled to make an accident claim under your applicable insurance policy.
What steps should you take to file an auto insurance claim after Hurricane Michael? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Take Photos. Phone lines may be down in the immediate aftermath of a storm, which can prevent emergency services reaching you to make a police report, but you can always take pictures of the damage to your physical or personal property, including your vehicle an anticipation that you may have to litigate with your insurance company as many Floridians did after Hurricane Irma. Try to capture as many angles of the damage as possible. If your damage was due to an accident or due to another vehicle hydroplaning into your car, take photos of the surrounding area and the other car. Don’t move the vehicle, if it can remain in place safely without danger to you or others, until the damage has been recorded.
- Make a Claim as Soon as Possible. Call your insurance company as soon as possible to make a claim. If you have comprehensive coverage, the days after Hurricane Michael are critical to making a claim. The sooner you make your claim, the better. In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, many insureds will likely be flooding the lines making similar claims. Insurance adjusters may settle claims in the order they are made, so the sooner you call, the better.
- Document Everything. Keep repair invoices, estimates, receipts and any related bills including any increase in your costs due to the damage and loss of use. Your insurance adjuster may request this information when settling your claim.
- Ask to Communicate with the Insurance Adjusters in Writing. Anything you say to your insurance adjuster on the phone can impact your claim. Ask that your insurance adjuster communicate with you in writing. This way, if there is ever a dispute, you have a paper trail. If your damages were serious or extensive or if your claim involves medical bills, you may want to speak to an insurance claims lawyer near you to help you navigate the claims process.
The aftermath of Hurricane Michael will likely be a stressful time for Florida and Georgia residents. A first-party insurance claim lawyer like Leader & Leader, P.A. may be able to help you and your family seek the recovery you may deserve. You may have many questions about the claims process if you have to make a homeowner’s insurance claim or a car insurance claim. If you need help reading the fine print of your insurance policy, visit our firm at https://leader-law.com/ to learn more. We can help.
Leader & Leader, P.A.
633 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL33301