Hurricane Ian’s devastating destruction path is expected to total over $40 billion in property damage claims.
While a lot of this damage will be glaringly obvious, there will be other types of damage that can be easily overlooked. We advise you to inspect your home for the following types of damage to ensure you can make a thorough property damage claim – and not be forced to pay out of pocket later!
Read Related: Hurricane Ian Property Damage Claim Tips and Tricks
Unexpected Property Damage to Look for After Hurricane Ian
When you return to your property, be sure to look for signs of the following damage:
Mold Caused by Flooding
With Hurricane Ian’s extensive flooding, your home may suffer from flood damage and high humidity. Even if flood water has since left, mold damage may remain.
Look for signs of mold growth behind appliances, furniture and in hidden areas. It can grow very fast and pose a risk to your health. If you don’t identify it early, your insurer may claim you didn’t mitigate it.
Mold caused by Hurricane Ian flood water should be covered under a ‘flood insurance claim’.
However, if there is water that entered through a roof, windows or doors, then this may be an issue to be addressed by your Homeowners insurance policy.
Rain leaks or flooding are likely to damage carpeting in your home. If it looks damaged, your insurance company should cover the carpet removal and replacement costs.
However, your insurance carrier may state that they’ll only cover the damaged part of the carpet – but of course, you’ll need to remove the whole thing. In that case, you’ll need to fight hard to avoid being underpaid. That’s where a property damage lawyer can help.
Damaged Roof Tiles and Shingles
Hurricane Ian roof damage can look very obvious. But for some homeowners, it may be easy to overlook.
Shingles and tiles are common victims of strong winds and may need replacing.
If you have missing or damaged shingles or tiles, it could lead to further damage in the future from strong winds or rain – leading to flooding and structural damage.
Take a look from ground level for signs of damage, and take photos as necessary. Your insurance company should provide an assessment of your roof, but it can also be wise to get an independent roof inspection to reveal the true cost of damage.
Roof Gutters are susceptible to strong winds and may have been pulled from its joints. Look for signs of unbalanced or loose gutters. If you don’t fix it, it can lead to issues the next time there’s heavy rain.
In the wake of damage to your home from Hurricane Ian, it’s easy to overlook appliances. From washer-dryers to TVs and fridges, these appliances may be destroyed by flood waters or debris within the home.
If they’re sitting in the water, have cracks, signs of water residue or other notable damage signs, then they may need to be replaced.
Damage to your home’s electrical system is not something to try to repair yourself. It can be deadly. If your home has been hit by Hurricane Ian it is advised to get a professional in to check the state of your home’s electrical system.
Damaged Trees and Branches
Thousands of trees have been uprooted and damaged due to Hurricane Ian. If you have a tree near your property, take a look at it. If the branches are snapped, loose or weakened, then they may pose a risk to your home. Tree removal may be required. Your insurance policy may have coverage for debris clean up that could be helpful in the days, weeks and months after Ian has passed.
Windows and Doors
Take a second look at your windows and doors. They may have been dislodged from their frames or damaged from wind or flooding.
Returned to your home and only noticed signs of mold, broken windows and water?
It may not end there. Your property may have suffered structural damage. It can be wise to hire an independent engineer or estimator to determine if your home has suffered structural damage.
Remember to Mitigate Your Damage!
You’re not expected to make significant repairs, but you should take measures to mitigate further damage – if safe to do so.
Boarding up broken windows, doors and other entrances can reduce the chance of further wind or rain damage. Tarping your damaged roof or taking steps to dry out your home are additional examples of mitigation. You can do this DIY or by hiring a professional. Store all receipts and proof of purchase so you can submit them as part of your Hurricane Ian property damage claim.
Do I Need a Property Damage Lawyer for a Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim?
Following Hurricane Ian, Insurance companies will be swamped by insurance claims. They’ll be doing everything they can to minimize their outgoing costs, which means undervaluing and denying claims.
They sometimes use manipulation, delaying tactics and other tricks to make you accept lowball offers.
A property damage lawyer can take care of the fight on your behalf. From paperwork to negotiations, we use our extensive experience to recover the money you are entitled to under your insurance policies.
Don’t leave it to chance. Don’t pay out of pocket. Call a property damage lawyer today.
Contact a Hurricane Ian Insurance Attorney Today
If you need to make a Hurricane Ian property damage claim in Florida, then our property damage lawyers can help.
Attorney Jonathon Douglas leads the property damage claim team nationally ranked by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 Law Firm, Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A.
Having previously represented some of the largest insurance companies in the State of Florida, Mr. Douglas uses his inside knowledge and experience to help you navigate Hurricane Ian insurance claims.
Regardless of your situation, you can receive a free consultation today.