Property losses from hurricanes in Marksville, Louisiana, can involve quite complex claims processes. You may believe your insurance company is not treating you fairly regarding your property claim. If so, you have legal options. You can contact our Marksville hurricane damage lawyer for help with your situation.
We do not back down when the insurance company’s lawyers try to intimidate you into reducing the amount of your claim or into abandoning it altogether. We appreciate the opportunity to stand up for the rights of our clients against unethical insurance companies. You can learn more during a free consultation today.
Your Marksville, La., Insurance Claim Deserves Prompt Treatment
According to National Weather Service (NWS) historical records, Louisiana sees at least some impact from several hurricanes every decade. Some hurricanes cause widespread damage across the state, while others hit certain areas harder.
Insurance companies that write homeowner, small business, and other property policies in Louisiana have extensive experience with hurricane damage. So, naturally, you would expect the insurance company to use that experience to your benefit in processing your claim quickly.
For a free legal consultation with a hurricane damage lawyer serving Marksville, call (318) 310-8922
Insurance Companies May Not Treat You Fairly
Unfortunately, insurers do not always use their experience with hurricanes and other severe storms to your advantage. Instead, they may use that experience to try to reduce the amount of money they will give you for your claim.
Unethical insurance companies know that many of their clients do not fully understand the language in the policy. They also know that those with hurricane-related storm damage sometimes just want to receive whatever payment they can get as quickly as possible.
They may take advantage of these situations by refusing to pay the full amount you deserve. They also could cite a technicality in the policy’s language that leaves you with a lower payment.
Marksville Hurricane Damage Lawyer Near Me (318) 310-8922
You Do Not Have To Stand for This Treatment
When you want help with understanding the exact language in your policy, our team of hurricane damage attorneys serving Marksville is ready to give you the legal representation you deserve. We will use our combined 100 years of experience in trying cases like this to decipher your policy’s language.
When insurance companies try to boost their own profits by denying or reducing the claim payments their customers should have after a hurricane, we are ready to help. We will stand with you against the insurer’s tactics from start to finish in your case.
Common Types of Unethical Actions Insurers May Use
If you believe any of the following tactics are occurring in your dispute with your insurer, these could be signs of bad faith actions. These actions may include:
- Lying about the terms in your policy
- Coercing you to sign documents without fully explaining them
- Delaying the claims process without a valid reason
- Threatening you with insurance fraud criminal charges without cause
- Failing to follow the policy’s written terms
In addition to hiring our team to represent you in your dispute with the insurer, you can report the insurance company’s unethical behavior to the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) for investigation.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Understanding How Insurers Work With Marksville Hurricane Damage Claims
An area of confusion that often comes up after a Louisiana hurricane involves just how the insurance company covers this type of damage.
Insurance companies do not write “hurricane insurance” policies. No such thing exists. Instead, the typical home or business property policy covers many of the different types of damage that occur after a hurricane goes through the area. Here are some common types of damage from a hurricane and the way the insurance company often will handle them.
Nearly all insurance policies for property will cover wind damage from a hurricane. This is a highly common type of damage, as hurricanes bring strong winds that can last for hours.
Wind can cause various damages for homeowners and business owners, including:
- Roof damage
- Window damage
- Structural damage
- Damage from fallen tree limbs
- Damage to outlying buildings
Flooding is also common with hurricanes. Excessive rain can lead to flooding concerns from swollen rivers. A storm surge can also cause significant flooding concerns in Louisiana.
However, very few property insurance policies include coverage against flooding. To receive protection against floods, property owners nearly always have to purchase flood insurance separately, either as an add-on to an existing policy or as a policy from an entity like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Non-Flooding Water Damage
Sometimes, water damage that occurs during a hurricane has nothing to do with flooding. Wind may damage the roof of a home, allowing heavy rains to penetrate the hole and cause significant water damage to the property.
In a case like this, the insurer should cover the cost of the damage through the regular policy. However, if the insurance adjuster or investigator does not take the time to fully look at the damage, they may assume flooding occurred, leading to a denial of your claim. Our legal team will work to present your explanation of what happened to try to help you receive your payment.
Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
Sometimes, a hurricane will spawn other severe weather events as it enters or exits the area, including the possibility of tornadoes. Heavy rain and hail from a thunderstorm also may occur.
Your regular policy should cover damage from these types of weather events, regardless of whether they originated from a hurricane or another severe weather event.
Hurricane Deductibles in Louisiana
A hurricane deductible clause will be written into some property insurance policies in Louisiana. This often allows the insurance company to automatically increase the deductible in the policy if the property owner’s area is in a hurricane warning. (The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before the insurance company begins paying.)
This can be highly confusing for some people. Your insurance company may try to claim it has a hurricane deductible on your property, even though our legal team discovers no such language exists in your written policy. This is an area we then can try to negotiate with the insurer.
Marksville Hurricane Damage FAQ
After the hurricane has passed, you may be left feeling worried about how you are going to get your property losses covered and begin to rebuild your life. The claims process can be complex. When you have unanswered questions, we have answers.
We have addressed some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding hurricane damage in Marksville below. Be sure to contact our office for a free consultation if you have additional questions we did not cover on this page.
Will I Have To Go to Court?
The vast majority of hurricane damage claims can be resolved without having to go to court. However, if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for your damages, or, if they are unwilling to meet the terms of your policy, your attorney may recommend pursuing legal action against them.
Generally, even the threat of going to court is enough to get the insurance company to settle your claim reasonably. However, should it become necessary to go to court, your attorney will be prepared to do so if it means getting you the most out of your claim.
What Is “Preventative Care”?
Preventative care refers to the measures you may need to take following a hurricane in order to prevent further property losses. Some of the more common types of preventative care used following hurricanes include boarding up windows, using tarps to cover areas that may be susceptible to water or flood damage, and taking other steps to reduce the likelihood of further damage to your property.
Failure to take preventative care measures could have a devastating impact on your ability to recover compensation through your insurance company. If the insurance company can argue that you did not take preventative care measures, they may be able to deny you the compensation and benefits you are seeking in your claim.
What Evidence Can I Use To Support My Case?
If you hope to get the insurance company to settle your hurricane damage claim fairly, you will need to be prepared to present them with irrefutable evidence to support your case. Some of the more common types of evidence that could be used to prove your property damage and the value of your losses include:
- An inventory of your personal property
- Photos of your more expensive pieces
- Photos of damage to your property caused by the hurricane
- Quotes for repairs to your home or property
- Receipts for the preventative care measures you took and other out-of-pocket costs related to the hurricane damage in your case
- Video of the damage to your property
- A copy of your homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, business insurance, or general liability insurance policy
These are only a few of the more common types of evidence that could be used to help get your hurricane damage insurance claim approved. Do not be surprised if the insurance company pushes back. They will lose money by settling your claim.
If you hope to avoid being taken advantage of after this natural disaster, make sure you have a strong legal advocate on your side ready to help you fight the insurance company for the benefits that are rightfully yours.
Contact Our Marksville, La., Legal Team for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation
Do not let an insurance company treat you unfairly after you file a claim for damage to your property in a hurricane. Call the team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers as soon as possible for a free case review and let us help you put your life back together.