The average settlement for hurricane damage in Louisiana is tough to estimate. Each storm can cause different levels of damage depending on wind speed, the amount of rainfall, and where it makes landfall. In addition, each individual and family may experience unique damages. The amount of damage and the value of the property significantly affect any settlement.
For example, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), all insurers combined settled with 1 million homeowners after Hurricane Katrina for about $16.4 billion, which would average about $16,400 per homeowner. However, homeowners could settle individually for a four-figure amount, a seven-figure amount, or anything in between.
Items That Affect the Value of a Louisiana Hurricane Damage Settlement
Several factors will play a role in determining whether you can receive a settlement that is above or below the average Louisiana hurricane claim.
Level of Damage
Some properties may only have minor damage to a roof or fence after a hurricane. Others may see a total loss of the home and garage. When a property owner has extensive damage, they could receive a significantly higher settlement than someone with minimal damage.
Value of the Property and Home
Someone who has an extremely valuable property that suffers total destruction could receive a seven-figure settlement or more. Meanwhile, someone with an average value home may only receive a five- or six-figure settlement, even with total destruction. The starting or replacement value of the home will play a role in the amount of compensation you can receive.
Personal Property Items Lost
One of the most contentious aspects of trying to obtain an above-average settlement after a hurricane in Louisiana involves personal property. If you have valuable furniture, artwork, jewelry, antiques, or other items destroyed in the storm, you must prove that you owned and lost these items. You will also need to prove their value.
Insurers may not always take your word for it when you claim you lost some extremely valuable items in a hurricane. They could request proof of ownership, which can be a challenge if your personal paperwork and financial records were also destroyed during the storm.
A hurricane damage attorney from our firm can fight for you if you feel the insurance company is treating you unfairly and refusing to listen.
Understand that many homeowner policies do not cover flood damage, whether from a hurricane or another type of storm. However, if the hurricane damages the roof of the building, allowing rainwater to enter the structure through the roof, the insurer should cover any interior water damage.
Your insurer may argue that the water damage in your home came from floods and storm surge, rather than from rain entering a hole in the roof. If so, our team can compile proof to show the insurance company that your water damage is from a leaky, damaged roof.
For a free legal consultation, call 337-221-9907
Understand the Role of Your Deductible
The deductible outlined in your insurance policy can also affect your hurricane damage settlement. A deductible is the amount you have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance company starts to cover the damages. Once you meet your deductible, the insurer makes a payment on the remainder of the claim.
Some policies may even list the deductible as a percentage of the value of your home. This can greatly affect the size of your claim, potentially reducing it by tens of thousands of dollars or more.
The Importance of Contacting Your Insurer as Early as Possible
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI), homeowners and business property owners need to contact their insurance company as soon as possible after hurricane damage occurs. Then, the insurer must send an adjuster to the property within 30 days, barring unusual circumstances.
This is the first step for trying to obtain a claim, whether you have average, below-average, or above-average damage.
Contesting an Adjuster’s Findings
Just because an insurance adjuster makes a judgment regarding your property does not mean you have to accept it. After all, the adjuster works for the insurance company—their goal is generally to pay out the least amount possible to protect their bottom line.
You have the ability to contest the adjuster’s findings, usually by introducing your concerns with the help of an attorney. You also can contact the LDI to register a complaint about treatment you received from an insurer.
Let Our Louisiana Team Fight for Your Fair Storm Settlement
If you believe your insurance company is not accurately valuing your loss after a Louisiana hurricane, our team is ready to try to help. Consider hiring Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers as your Louisiana hurricane damage lawyer.
Our team knows how unfair insurance companies treat victims after a hurricane, and we are ready to fight for your financial recovery. Call us at (337) 777-7777 today to discuss your case.