Hurricanes are among the most dangerous natural disasters on Earth. Furious winds, torrential rain, and even destructive fires can cause billions of dollars in damage. After even the lowest level of hurricane, your home and property most likely need repairs or replacement.
Some hurricane damage is covered by your homeowners insurance, but securing the compensation you need to recover can be complicated. After a hurricane, you should have someone looking out for you. A hurricane damage attorney in Louisiana can help when disaster has struck.
Damage Caused by Hurricanes
Hurricane damage can happen in any number of ways and can be devastatingly destructive. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), every year since 2010 has seen at least eight weather disasters that have caused a billion dollars of damage. In 2020, there were 13 such disasters.
Damages in a hurricane can include:
- Rain damage
- Wind damage
- Hail damage
- Loss of power or water
- Uprooted or toppled trees
- Exterior wall damage
- Roof damage
- Foundation damage
- Garage or porch damage
When a hurricane damages your property, you could be entitled to more compensation than your insurance company initially offers. A hurricane damage attorney in Louisiana may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
For a free legal consultation with a hurricane damage lawyer serving Louisiana, call 337-221-9907
About Hurricane Damage
What Do I Do If a Hurricane Damaged My House?
It can be scary and stressful to deal with the aftermath of a hurricane. Just know that there are skilled Louisiana hurricane damage lawyers who are willing to help you. There are some steps you can take to make their job easier, though.
If a hurricane has damaged your house, you should do the following:
- Contact your insurance provider. Do this as soon as possible, even before the hurricane hits, as time is of the essence.
- Take pictures or videos of damage to your property.
- Write down what happened while you still remember it clearly.
- Make sure you know what your insurance policy covers.
- Keep a file with documentation of all of your repair expenses, appraisals, inspections, and the cost of replacing your clothes or furniture.
- File an insurance claim, giving the insurance company any documentation they ask for.
- Insist on relocation if you need it.
- Do not accept the first offer. You can cash the check as long as they do not represent that it is a settlement of your claim.
- Do not believe the word “independent.” Over the next several weeks, hundreds of “independent adjusters” are going to start showing up at homes. They work for your insurance company and are not looking out for you.
- Watch out for door knockers. Roofers and contractors knocking at your door to offer a free inspection are only looking to get money. It is illegal for a contractor to negotiate with an insurance company.
- Contact a Louisiana hurricane damage attorney.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage in Louisiana?
In general, homeowners insurance covers your home, including your personal property, in the event of a loss. What your insurance covers and the extent that it reimburses you depend on your company, your policy, and any additional damages you may have added.
Homeowners insurance usually covers damage from high winds, rain, and other consequences of a hurricane. However, homeowners insurance usually does not cover flooding and storm surge. You will most likely have to purchase extra insurance to cover rising water levels.
What Is a Hurricane Deductible?
A hurricane deductible is a deductible included in your homeowners insurance that only applies to damage caused by hurricanes. Hurricane deductibles can be higher than normal ones, usually between one and five percent.
In Louisiana, three types of deductibles could apply to storm damage to your home:
- Named storm deductibles–these come into effect when winds reach 39 mph, otherwise known as a tropical storm.
- Hurricane deductibles–these come into effect when winds reach 74 mph, known as hurricane strength.
- Wind and hail deductibles–these come into effect any time wind from a hurricane, tropical storm, tornado, or other weather event damages your property.
In August of 2021, Louisiana Statute § 22:1267.1 took effect. This new statute dictated that insurers could only charge commercial property owners one hurricane deductible per hurricane season.
Does Flooding Count as Hurricane Damage?
In general, flooding is not covered by homeowners insurance. Storm surges and rising water count as flood damage, not hurricane damage, and are usually covered by additional insurance. If rain “floods” your house because of damage to your roof or walls, that is under the umbrella of storm damage and is covered by homeowners insurance.
What Happens If My Hurricane Damage Claim Was Denied?
If your claim was denied or the insurance company only offered a fraction of what you need to recover from a natural disaster, you should contact a hurricane damage attorney in Louisiana. Our law firm has years of experience and knows how to deal with insurance providers who just want to save themselves money.
A lawyer can make sure all of your damages are documented and your files are in order for your claim. Sometimes the problem is a simple mistake, or sometimes the insurance adjuster is fussy so they don’t have to pay you your entire claim.
Louisiana Hurricane Damage Lawyer Near Me 337-221-9907
What to Do in the Event of a Hurricane
If you know that a hurricane is set to land at or near where you live, the most important thing to do is follow the advice and directions of your local or state government. If authorities tell you to evacuate or take certain safety measures, you should follow those directions.
Past that, there are certain things you should do for each category of hurricane that can help ensure your safety and the safety of your property:
- Category one – Board up your windows and prepare for minor power outages. This is the lowest level of hurricane, but it is still a strong storm that you should take seriously.
- Category two – Reinforce your roof, secure all garage doors, and be prepared to evacuate if need be. If you live in a mobile home, consider cutting all utilities off and evacuating.
- Category three – Have an evacuation plan in place. Cut all utilities, seal up your house, and make sure your possessions are secure. Pack for the potential of weeks away from home and consider buying a generator.
- Category four – The best thing to do in the case of a category four hurricane is to evacuate as soon as you can. If you do decide to stay, have a safe room in your house to retreat to in the case of heavy damage.
- Category five – Evacuate immediately. Monitor conditions and only return to your home once you know it is completely safe. Have lots of bottled water prepared, as tap water will most likely be contaminated.
In the event of any hurricane, we advise that you take pictures of damage-prone property before the storm hits. That way, you have a record of what your property looked like beforehand so you can prove the full scope of damages to your insurance company.
Hurricanes in Louisiana
Louisiana has a very long history of hurricanes. Residents know just how much damage a storm can cause. The most recent hurricanes that have touched down in Louisiana include:
- October 24-30, 2020: Hurricane Zeta – category three -$4.4 billion in damages
- October 4-12, 2020 Hurricane Delta – category two – $3.09 billion in damages
- August 20-29, 2020: Hurricane Laura – category four – $17.7 billion in damages
- July 11-19, 2019: Hurricane Barry – category one – $600 million in damages
- October 4-11, 2017: Hurricane Nate – category one $787 million in damages
- August 17-September 2, 2017: Hurricane Harvey – category four – $124 billion in damages
- August 21-September 3, 2012: Hurricane Isaac – category one– $3.11 billion in damages
- November 4-12, 2009: Hurricane Ida – category two – $11.4 million in damages
- September 1-15, 2008: Hurricane Ike – category four – $38 billion in damages
- August 25-September7, 2008: Hurricane Gustav – category four – $8.31 billion in damages
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
How a Hurricane Damage Lawyer in Louisiana Can Help
After a hurricane, you might be left wondering what to do or who to look for. You deserve someone who can help you through the process of claiming damage and recovering money from your insurance company. Our Louisiana hurricane damage attorneys can help by:
- Proving the damages you suffered
- Getting your documents in order
- Preparing your insurance claim for you
- Monitoring the claims process
- Answering any questions your insurance company might have
- Appealing an unfair denial or low payout
- Taking your case to court in the event that your insurer won’t cooperate
Our Louisiana personal injury lawyers have been working for years to get accident victims the compensation they deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help with your hurricane damage claim or if you think your insurer is taking advantage of you.
What to Do to Prepare for a Hurricane
While hurricanes can visit unstoppable destruction, there are certain things you can do to make sure that, in the aftermath, you get the compensation you need. Before a hurricane strikes, you should:
- Never underestimate what we cannot control and don’t get complacent.
- Photograph the exteriors of your home to document pre-storm conditions.
- Tape your windows at a minimum and board your windows if the storm becomes a Category 1 or greater.
- Locate and make a copy of your insurance policy and declaration page.
- Above all, stay safe and cooperate with local and state guidelines.
Taking these steps makes the job that you and your Louisiana hurricane damage attorney have to do much easier. Before your house is hit, make sure you know how to contact an accident lawyer in Louisiana in case anything happens.
Talk to a Hurricane Damage Attorney in Louisiana for Free
After a natural disaster, you shouldn’t have to pick up the pieces alone. A Louisiana hurricane damage lawyer can walk you through the steps of your claim and protect you from any tricks the insurance company might pull to reduce your compensation.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers wants you to be able to go back to normal after a hurricane. Contact us today to get a free consultation with a hurricane damage lawyer.